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David Hockney Early Etchings Rare
Courtesy Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert Gallery

Never-before-seen David Hockney art is coming to London

An exhibition focused on the artist’s ‘early etchings’ will open next year

Next year, prolific Brit artist David Hockney will celebrate his 80th birthday. To honour this, London’s Tate Britain announced back in February that it would stage one of its biggest ever retrospectives. The hotly anticipated show, which opens in February 2017, will include paintings, prints, photography and videos from the artist’s incredible six-decade career. 

Just over the river, however, another tribute is set to be paid to the artist. The Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert gallery in London’s Green Park has now arranged its own Hockney exhibition to coincide with the Tate’s retrospective – only this one will be featuring never-before-seen sketches from the icon’s early career. 

The show – titled “David Hockney: The Complete Early Etchings 1961-1964” – will open six day’s before the Tate’s offering on February 3, and will run for a month. It will focus on the work produced in the artist’s student years at the Royal College of Art, and will show off some of his first professional pieces. 

“(The work shows) him exploring his sexuality, standing up to authority and testing boundaries,” exhibition curator, Lyndsey Ingram, said in a statement. “We see this reflected in how he pushes the medium to its limits. If we consider Hockney’s career as a transition from line to colour, here we see him developing the character of his line.”

She added: “These are not pretty pictures. Instead they form a gritty diary of his youth as an emerging artist exploring subversive themes. They shed light on what mattered to him artistically and personally at the time and are crucial to understanding Hockney’s evolution as an artist. In many ways, they remain surprising and shocking today.”

David Hockney: The Complete Early Etchings 1961-1964 will open at the Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert Gallery on February 3 2017. It will run until March 10 2017