David Hockney in The New York Times, 5 July 2016
In 1974, on the occasion of David Hockney's first retrospective exhibition in Paris at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Pierre Restany described him as "the master of the supple painted portrait" (Pierre Restany, exh. cat. P.13). The years 1973-1975 mark a veritable renewal in David Hockney's career and are eminently interesting for the artist's production of portraits. These works are real pieces of life, fragments of a personal diary. Caught between contemplation, silence and introspection, they release a feeling of serenity, intimacy and warmth. Each of the artist's portraits is like a snapshot of his private moments with friends. This complicity between the painter and his model is so strong that in his drawings the artist's own portrait seems to emerge implicitly, with singular sharpness. These works from the 1970s reveal a fascinating virtuosity, still present today in the exhibition devoted to the artist in London, Venice and Bilbao, 82 portraits and 1 still life. The portrait of Arty Sutton from the Jacques Grange collection shows all the refinement of David Hockney's vision who paints his friends as he sees them, far from any idea of the tradition of intensified realism.
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