As Tate Britain unveils its astonishing new retrospective of David Hockney, arguably one of the most popular and influential British artists of the 20th century, we are delighted to present the lithograph 'Brooke Hopper' (1976).
Hockney first met and became good friends with Dennis Hopper and his wife Brooke during the 1960s, when he began to make frequent trips to Los Angeles. The warm welcome that Hockney received from American critics soon extended to his social life, and he was quickly absorbed into the circle of famous artists, critics and Hollywood celebrities that was enjoying the liberal Californian lifestyle.
In 1961 the renowned Hollywood actor and director, artist and photographer Dennis Hopper married Brooke Hayward, daughter of film producer Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan. The couple divorced in 1969, but Brooke’s continuing friendship with Hockney is recorded in this portrait, made seven years later in 1976 as one of a series of full-length studies of the artist’s friends.
Hockney has always regarded his graphic work as a worthy medium for some of his most ambitious ideas. In portraiture this extends to how personality is conveyed as much through the body as through facial expression. This portrait beautifully combines his observations of the sitter’s poise and self-possession with articulate explorations of the variety of textures to be achieved in the lithograph medium.
Tate Britain, London
9 February – 29 May 2017