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Belfast to host major exhibition by David Hockney

Published 15/08/2016

A collage on newsprint titled Self Portrait by David Hockney will be among the exhibits
A collage on newsprint titled Self Portrait by David Hockney will be among the exhibits

One of Britain's greatest living painters is to hold his first significant Irish exhibition in Belfast, a gallery curator said.

The show will focus on David Hockney's early work alongside material from the current decade and celebrates his interest in drawing.

David Hockney: I Draw, I Do will run from August 19 until mid-October at the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC). It will include his Paper Pools series, created using paper pulp.

Hugh Mulholland, senior curator at the MAC, said: "We are delighted to be presenting the first significant exhibition of David Hockney's work in Ireland to date.

"The exhibition focuses on Hockney's formative years at Bradford Regional College of Art in the 1950s and will include rarely seen anatomical and observational drawings, early graphite portraits as well as significant later works which demonstrate Hockney's continued interest in pushing the boundaries of his practice using new technologies.

"We are very pleased to be able to show a series of his iPad portraits of family and friends as well as some of his well-known works from The Arrival of Spring, 2011, which many visitors may recognise.

"At the core of all of this work is Hockney's commitment to the critical importance of the act of drawing and how the early training at art school is drawn on throughout one's creative life."

The MAC chose the title of the exhibition from an answer Hockney gave to a question asked of him by designer Paul Smith: "Do you still draw in the more traditional way, in the way you first did when you left the Royal College?"

Hockney replied: "Yeah, I draw, I do... From the age of 16 to the age of 20, all I did was really draw, because I was at the art school in Bradford and in Bradford you could be in the school from nine in the morning to nine at night.

"So I drew for four years. I don't know what art schools are like now, but I'm told they don't do drawing. That seems a bit mad to me, that. Drawing is going to be needed in the future."

Lord Mayor of Belfast Brian Kingston said the city was demonstrating its contemporary and ambitious side.

"I'm looking forward to seeing this exciting exhibition by one of the most popular living British artists being enjoyed by as many Belfast people as possible, as well as our many visitors."

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