a discussion of the lens in contemporary art history

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

19.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): David Hockney CH, RA

Ticket/entry details: Due to unprecedented demand from Courtauld Students this event is now full and NO PLACES ARE AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

Organised by: The Composite Order (Society, The Courtauld’s Student Union) (contact: jerome.hasler@courtauld.ac.uk)

It is an honour to welcome the celebrated painter, photographer and author David Hockney to The Courtauld.

One of Britain’s finest Post-War painters, Hockney was born in Bradford in 1937 and trained at the Bradford School of Art between 1953-7. Though his early work, and its abstraction, has demonstrated his incredible grasp of colour and form, he is perhaps most celebrated for his realism of landscape and figure demonstrable in works produced during his time in Los Angeles. Hockney’s experimentation with photography in the early 1980s can be seen as one of his greatest successes, his photo-collages recapturing the fragmentation and consequent active viewer interaction presented by early-modern movements such as Cubism.

Most recently Hockney’s attention has turned to theories of optics and perspective in artistic production and technique throughout the history of painting. His seminal publication Secret Knowledge (Thames and Hudson, 2001) has altered and revitalised the discussion around artists' practice and employment of aids and tools in works from Jan van Eyck to Diego Velázquez. Hockney has also fully embraced production of works through avenues of new media, demonstrating his versatility through his creation of ‘iPad drawings’ which have been featured in articles in the national press.

At a recent lecture at St John's College Oxford, Hockney called for a greater emphasis to be placed on the lens in the contemporary tuition of History of Art. This lecture gives the opportunity for the artist to share his vision and theory with young art historians at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

This lecture, in which Hockney reflects on the use of the lens in art history, is organised by The Composite Order (Society, The Courtauld’s Student Union) and has been made possible by the generous enthusiasm of David Hockney and the support of The Courtauld’s Research Forum.

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