Artist David Hockey sits in the center of his Hollywood Hills studio, wearing a gray suit and spring-green cardigan, aqua-colored socks and bright yellow glasses with his signature round lenses. Beneath his chair is an oversized oriental carpet, littered with stubbed out cigarettes. Tomorrow, he will return to his new home in Normandy, whose landscape is documented in Hockney’s latest outsized, multi-paneled panoramic work, to be showcased at the new Pace Gallery in New York City this month.
Hockney’s success, which came early in his career, has been stratospheric. Exhibitions of his work draw huge crowds at museums and galleries around the world. Over a million visitors viewed a retrospective of his work showcased at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, London’s Tate Britain and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. When his 1972 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold at auction in late 2018 for $90.3 million, it became the most expensive work of art by a living artist sold at auction. At 82, he continues to create and innovate.
Read Blume’s WSJ Magazine profile on Hockney, in which he reflects on his career, opines on the insanely high prices his works command today, and predicts that the potential for global fame is coming to an end.