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In this fascinating and entertaining second volume, Christopher Simon Sykes explores the life and work of Britain's most popular living artist.   David Hockney is one of the most influential and best-loved artists of the twentieth century. His career has spanned and epitomized the art movements of the past five decades. Picking up Hockney's story in 1975, this book finds him In this fascinating and entertaining second volume, Christopher Simon Sykes explores the life and work of Britain's most popular living artist.   David Hockney is one of the most influential and best-loved artists of the twentieth century. His career has spanned and epitomized the art movements of the past five decades. Picking up Hockney's story in 1975, this book finds him flitting between Notting Hill and California, where he took inspiration for the swimming pool series of paintings; creating acclaimed set designs for operas around the world; and embracing emerging technologies—the Polaroid camera and fax machine in the seventies and eighties and, most recently, the iPad. Hockney's boundless energy extends to his personal life too, and this volume illuminates the glamorous circles he moves in, as well as his sometimes turbulent relationships. Christopher Simon Sykes has been granted exclusive and unprecedented access to Hockney's paintings, notebooks, and diaries, and a great number of them are reproduced here. Featuring interviews with family, friends, and Hockney himself, this is a lively and revelatory account of an acclaimed artist and an extraordinary man.


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In this fascinating and entertaining second volume, Christopher Simon Sykes explores the life and work of Britain's most popular living artist.   David Hockney is one of the most influential and best-loved artists of the twentieth century. His career has spanned and epitomized the art movements of the past five decades. Picking up Hockney's story in 1975, this book finds him In this fascinating and entertaining second volume, Christopher Simon Sykes explores the life and work of Britain's most popular living artist.   David Hockney is one of the most influential and best-loved artists of the twentieth century. His career has spanned and epitomized the art movements of the past five decades. Picking up Hockney's story in 1975, this book finds him flitting between Notting Hill and California, where he took inspiration for the swimming pool series of paintings; creating acclaimed set designs for operas around the world; and embracing emerging technologies—the Polaroid camera and fax machine in the seventies and eighties and, most recently, the iPad. Hockney's boundless energy extends to his personal life too, and this volume illuminates the glamorous circles he moves in, as well as his sometimes turbulent relationships. Christopher Simon Sykes has been granted exclusive and unprecedented access to Hockney's paintings, notebooks, and diaries, and a great number of them are reproduced here. Featuring interviews with family, friends, and Hockney himself, this is a lively and revelatory account of an acclaimed artist and an extraordinary man.

30 review for David Hockney: The Biography, 1975-2012

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Donaghey

    David Hockney: The Biography, 1975-2012 by Christopher Simon Sykes is more of an expanded daily diary than a concise look at the work of the artist in question. This second volume is told with all the dignified calm of a fan boy texting about his latest craze. Hockney was, and is, a great artist, a fine interpreter of his surroundings into something more, but I wasn’t, and still are not, a fan of his work. While this portion of his biography has many illustrations and examples of his art, I just David Hockney: The Biography, 1975-2012 by Christopher Simon Sykes is more of an expanded daily diary than a concise look at the work of the artist in question. This second volume is told with all the dignified calm of a fan boy texting about his latest craze. Hockney was, and is, a great artist, a fine interpreter of his surroundings into something more, but I wasn’t, and still are not, a fan of his work. While this portion of his biography has many illustrations and examples of his art, I just am not moved by it. Hence I am not moved by this look into the life of the arts creator. I was hoping to find a great secret here, some side to the artist as yet unrevealed to me, but what I found was a person like you or me, struggling to come to terms with his environment, perhaps a little too hung up on the exploration of his parents in a search to find himself, but nothing more. I won this book through Goodreads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I was lucky enough to win this copy of David Hockney: The Biography 1975-2012 through a Goodreads giveaway. Such a wonderful read about a prolific artist whose life is his art. I remember reading about and seeing David Hockney's iconic Swimming Pool Series, many years ago. It was how I first got to know his work.I never knew the artist was constantly trying new things like the making of the papers he used, or the dyeing and handmaking of those papers. This book explains in great detail why the a I was lucky enough to win this copy of David Hockney: The Biography 1975-2012 through a Goodreads giveaway. Such a wonderful read about a prolific artist whose life is his art. I remember reading about and seeing David Hockney's iconic Swimming Pool Series, many years ago. It was how I first got to know his work.I never knew the artist was constantly trying new things like the making of the papers he used, or the dyeing and handmaking of those papers. This book explains in great detail why the artist chooses to paint many of his works, he shares intimate details of David Hockney's relationships with parents and siblings as well as close friends and lovers. We see the evolution of an artist undeniably gifted, not content to be idle...making great art in unconventional ways. ...Love David Hockney's use of scale and composition but even more he is my favorite colorist ever! Mr.Christopher Simon Sykes meticulous research has made for a great book. On Xmas list: Part One: David Hockney: The Biography 1937-1975

  3. 4 out of 5

    Doubleday Books

    Picking up Hockney's story in 1975, this second volume, A Pilgrim's Progress, finds him traveling between Notting Hill and California, where he took inspiration for the swimming pool series of paintings; creating the acclaimed set designs for operas around the world; and embracing emerging technologies—the camera and fax machine in the 1970s and 1980s, and, most recently, the iPad. Hockney's boundless energy extends to his personal life too, and this volume illuminates his glamorous social life Picking up Hockney's story in 1975, this second volume, A Pilgrim's Progress, finds him traveling between Notting Hill and California, where he took inspiration for the swimming pool series of paintings; creating the acclaimed set designs for operas around the world; and embracing emerging technologies—the camera and fax machine in the 1970s and 1980s, and, most recently, the iPad. Hockney's boundless energy extends to his personal life too, and this volume illuminates his glamorous social life as well as his sometimes turbulent relationships.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I won a copy of this interesting book by an author who seems to adore David Hockney's works of art. I am a big fan of books and artworks by many talented artists. David Hockney is diffidently a talented artist who knows how to capture the viewers eye. Some of Hockney's paintings and photographs are wonderfully detailed and are colorful too. The author(Sykes), is a talented artist in the way that he portrays his written work of a beloved and talented artist of the 20th century! I won a copy of this interesting book by an author who seems to adore David Hockney's works of art. I am a big fan of books and artworks by many talented artists. David Hockney is diffidently a talented artist who knows how to capture the viewers eye. Some of Hockney's paintings and photographs are wonderfully detailed and are colorful too. The author(Sykes), is a talented artist in the way that he portrays his written work of a beloved and talented artist of the 20th century!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tom Donaghey

    This was not my favorite book about art or artists. While this biography is well written and full of details, I am not a big fan of the artist or his work. I was hoping to have a revelation, but that didn't happen. This was not my favorite book about art or artists. While this biography is well written and full of details, I am not a big fan of the artist or his work. I was hoping to have a revelation, but that didn't happen.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ingmar

    I found part 2 of Sykes incredibly detailed biography no where near as captivating as the first book. For every paragraph that discusses Hockney’s practice and influences, we get 3 paragraphs of quotes from Hockney’s mother’s journal outlining what they are for dinner on holiday somewhere.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This book looks great .I just purchased volume 1 too. I will write a review as soon as I have completed reading .

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I read this because I was going to a David Hockney exhibit. It was fascinating, and I loved the way this book (and the previous one in the series) uses Hockney's changing interests as a window into art history. I read this because I was going to a David Hockney exhibit. It was fascinating, and I loved the way this book (and the previous one in the series) uses Hockney's changing interests as a window into art history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Howells

    There aren't many people, living or dead, that would justify a two volume biography...but David Hockney would be one. In the week I visited the retrospective of his career at Tate Britain (which incidentally was probably the busiest art exhibition I've ever attended) I've also finished the 2nd volume of Christopher Simon Sykes's biography. Picking up the story in the 70s & taking us through to his 70th birthday in the late noughties, this volume confirms that Hockney remains one of the most prol There aren't many people, living or dead, that would justify a two volume biography...but David Hockney would be one. In the week I visited the retrospective of his career at Tate Britain (which incidentally was probably the busiest art exhibition I've ever attended) I've also finished the 2nd volume of Christopher Simon Sykes's biography. Picking up the story in the 70s & taking us through to his 70th birthday in the late noughties, this volume confirms that Hockney remains one of the most prolific artists of our times. Constantly trying new techniques (art using Polaroids, faxes, iPads) and branching out into other mediums (designing sets for Operas) I'll say this for Hockney - you may not like everything he does but there will definitely be something you like. For me it's his double portraits from the 60s & 70s. Every one is perfect.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I'm a serial non-fiction First Reads giveaway submitter and sometimes get a string of books that fit together somehow. The last three have been biographies and, though I'm not especially keen on book-length biographical text, I feel like I learned a lot about what works well in a biography and what doesn't. What doesn't work is often long collections of facts and figures that plod along in a set chronology - like what happened to a pers I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I'm a serial non-fiction First Reads giveaway submitter and sometimes get a string of books that fit together somehow. The last three have been biographies and, though I'm not especially keen on book-length biographical text, I feel like I learned a lot about what works well in a biography and what doesn't. What doesn't work is often long collections of facts and figures that plod along in a set chronology - like what happened to a person year after year after year. Imagine someone narrating your life based on the minutiae of your daily existence; for most of us, it would be quite boring. What does work, though, is when the author sets out with a narrative purpose and selects facts and events from the subject's life to further that story. Christopher Simon Sykes's David Hockney: The Biography, 1975-2012 is a book that walks a fine line between these distinctions, wavering between boring over-detail and interesting narrative push. Overall, I thought the book was good. It reminded me quite a bit of The Andy Warhol Diaries in the gossipy, name-dropping episodes that Sykes peppers throughout the book. In that sense, it is this encapsulation of a period of time in art, like Warhol documents, that is fleeting but illustrative. Sykes also takes a plodding, chronological approach to describing Hockney's life from 1975 - 2012 (this is the second, his first being David Hockney: The Biography, 1937-1975). In that way, it often falls into rather mundane details of what Hockney did on a certain day, or where he traveled to for vacation, or who he talked to at a party. But Sykes also crafts a narrative that is about Hockney as the work-obsessed, open-eyed artist. It is this story that is really captivating and kept me interested through the entire book. My favorite part of the book is Sykes's ability to illustrate how Hockney put his art above all else. There is the story of the chest of drawers at the end of Hockney's bed, which he painted "Get Up and Work" on, so that every morning he'd see that and get to making art. And make art he did, at an astonishing speed, often with many variations on a single topic, and embracing different techniques and new technologies. There are the stories about him discovering a copy machine and seeing the artistic possibilities in scanning and copying drawings, then layering them on top of each other, and adding colors to create a new art form. Or the stories about him learning to use a fax and then faxing works of arts to his friends around the world. At the end of the book you see his work on the iPhone and iPad. The book does an excellent job of conveying the passion and intense interest Hockney possesses, you can't help but feel a bit of that while reading this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    I confess to having been a little sniffy about Volume 1 of the 2-part biography to which this is the conclusion. I can't now remember why that should have been, considering the excellence of the current volume, both in terms of its detailed research and compelling style, not to mention its intelligent and accessible appraisal of Hockney's work. I suppose the period covered, 1975 to the present day, is more or less that for which I have been following the artist's output as it was produced, so pe I confess to having been a little sniffy about Volume 1 of the 2-part biography to which this is the conclusion. I can't now remember why that should have been, considering the excellence of the current volume, both in terms of its detailed research and compelling style, not to mention its intelligent and accessible appraisal of Hockney's work. I suppose the period covered, 1975 to the present day, is more or less that for which I have been following the artist's output as it was produced, so perhaps it feels that bit more alive to me than the earlier account. Taken together, though, I'd say the two comprise a pretty exemplary general reasoned biography of a fascinating and popular character, as well as an endlessly inventive creative mind.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Really enjoyed reading this.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robin Boothroyd

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eric Scharf

  16. 5 out of 5

    Glenys

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heather Fineisen

  18. 4 out of 5

    deborah ogden

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine Lilleby

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Katz

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

  23. 4 out of 5

    ANTONY SHARPLES

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kent Bangay

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Short

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joel Hershey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  28. 4 out of 5

    Harrison Turner

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  30. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

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