“He was the 1960s radical who turned British painting on its head, but on Sunday the Queen sealed David Hockney's transformation into national treasure by appointing him to the Order of Merit. Buckingham Palace announced that the 74-year-old Bradford-born painter and photographer would join the select group of individuals who have achieved distinction in the arts, learning, science and public service.” That is Robert Booth, writing in the Guardian yesterday.
It is generous of HMQ to make this award: only recently Hockney declined a request to paint a portrait of her, saying he was too busy!
The Royal Academy has a major exhibition of new landscape works by Hockney, opening in three weeks time and running to April: David Hockney: A Bigger Picture. And they are big: I saw one of these works of east Yorkshire in exhibition at Tate Britain two years ago – it measured 40 feet by 15 feet and took up a whole wall.
The forthcoming Royal Academy exhibition will include a display of his iPad drawings and a series of new films produced using 18 cameras, which will be displayed on multiple screens.
You can see a short video of David Hockney, engaging and warm as always, talking about this exhibition, here.