David Hockney exhibition opens at Holburne Museum this summer

20 April 2022

An impressive collection of rarely-seen drawings by the celebrated British artist David Hockney is to go on display at Bath’s Holburne Museum this summer. 

Running from 27th May to 18th September 2022, the exhibition is titled ‘Love Life’ after the words Hockney painted on the walls of a show at the Centre Pompidou in 2017. At the time, the artist explained the addition by saying:

“I love my work. And I think the work has love, actually … I love life. I write it at the end of letters – ‘Love life, David Hockney.”

The collection by one of the country’s most popular artists will feature over 50 of Hockney’s drawings, completed between 1963 and 1977. Many of these have rarely been viewed by the public, as they are on loan from private collections. 

They include a number of still life drawings, where Hockney is able to find extraordinary beauty in the most mundane and ordinary of things – from boxes of matches to bunches of spring onions. 

Visitors to the exhibition will also notice a number of architectural themes within the collection, with the Bradford-born artist exploring an interest in empty rooms and the tiny details of exteriors, interiors, windows and chairs. 

And of course, there are Hockney’s famous portrait drawings, known for their closely observed details and precisely rendered settings. 

A “wonderful show of master drawings”

Born 1937, David Hockney is world-renowned for his paintings. His most famous pieces include the iconic ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’ from 1972, and ‘The Splash’ from 1966. He’s also known for his printmaking, photocollages, stage designs and photography, making him one of the most influential British artists of the 20th Century. 

However, this new exhibition at the Holburne Museum showcases yet another string to Hockney’s bow – masterful drawings. Chris Stephens, museum director and the curator of ‘Love Life’, describes him as “one of the greatest draughtsmen of all time.” 

Introducing the exhibition on the Holburne Museum website, Stephens goes on to say:

“Hockney’s drawings of this time are some of the greatest bodies of draughtsmanship in the whole canon of western art. In pencil, coloured crayon and, especially, pen and ink, he captures the look and character of his subject with the utmost economy. 

“As Love Life demonstrates, a few lines can perfectly describe the fall of someone’s clothing, the impression of a head on a pillow and his ability to find beauty in the most ordinary of things: empty chairs in a hotel lobby, the mess of a table after an al fresco lunch, a friend’s glasses protruding from his pocket.”

“The exhibition reveals his delight in the world around him and the way he sees deeply and then condenses a given scene in the most concise way, like visual poetry.”

Coming to see this unmissable David Hockney exhibition in Bath this summer? Stay at our bright and airy Sydney Mews apartment for two, or our stunning Daniel Street Garden Apartment which sleeps up to six. Both are just a short stroll from the Holburne Museum, along with the bars, restaurants, shops and galleries of Bath city centre.