The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is preparing for its highly-anticipated reopening of David Hockney: Drawing from Life from 2 November 2023. This momentous exhibition will showcase over 30 new portraits, painted by David Hockney between 2021 and 2022 at his Normandy studio. One of the crown jewels of the show will be an exquisitely detailed painting of none other than acclaimed singer and icon, Harry Styles.
Drawing from Life originally ran for a brief period before its closure in March 2020, as a result of the pandemic. “Closing this five-star exhibition after just 20 days in 2020 was incredibly disappointing for the Gallery and its many visitors, making this restaging of David Hockney: Drawing from Life all the more significant,” says Sarah Howgate, senior curator of contemporary collections at NPG. “Now revitalised with over thirty new energetic and insightful painted portraits of friends and visitors to the artist’s Normandy studio, it is a real privilege to have the opportunity to collaborate with David Hockney again.”
One of the most fascinating aspects of this exhibition lies in Hockney’s return to painting. After a period of immersing himself in the beauty of nature by way of his iPad, the artist has brought to life new single and double portraits, offering an intriguing glimpse into the lives of his friends and visitors, as well as the local Normandy community.
The exhibition catalogue features around 160 reproduced portraits sourced from public and private collections worldwide. It also includes an essay that delves into the rich history and significance of Hockney’s artistry, along with an exclusive interview with the man himself.
For those who wish to delve deeper into Hockney’s newest works, David Hockney: Normandy Portraits is an image-led book that brings to life the captivating paintings produced at Hockney’s studio, including Harry Styles, Hockney’s partner, Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima, and several members of the local community.
David Hockney: Harry Styles (Copyright © David Hockney, 2022)
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Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.