David Hockney Gets His Own Gallery in Hometown Bradford

The opening coincides with the legendary British artist's 80th birthday.

David Hockney. Photo Courtesy Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images.

The British city of Bradford in West Yorkshire, where David Hockney was born in 1937, is celebrating the 80th birthday of the artist by opening a permanent display of his work.

The David Hockney Gallery will open next year on July 7—two days before Hockney’s birthday—at the Cartwright Hall, a civic gallery belonging to Bradford Museums and dedicated to 19th- and 20th-century British art.

“I used to love going to Cartwright Hall as a kid, it was the only place in Bradford I could see real paintings,” Hockney said in a statement.

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery. Courtesy the museum.

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery. Courtesy the museum.

The location is apt, since, according to the BBC, Cartwright Hall claims to own the largest public collection of Hockney’s early works, including rarely seen drawings and sketches from his student days at the Bradford Art School.

Cartwright Hall also owns masterpieces like Hockney’s iconic swimming pool scene Le Plongeur (1978).

“It was important to us that we mark this birthday of one of the world’s most significant, influential and engaging artists who just happens to be from Bradford,” Jill Iredale, curator at the Cartwright Hall, told the BBC.

Yet, Cartwright Hall won’t be the first permanent display of Hockney’s work in his native city. The Salts Mill is already home to a large number of paintings by him, including 49 works from his recent series The Arrival of Spring.

But not all has been smooth sailing in Hockney’s relationship with his hometown. In 2013, when the council briefly considered the idea of selling some of its art collection works in order to raise funds, the artist said he had “almost given up on Bradford.”

Also coinciding with the artist’s birthday next year, Tate Britain is preparing a major retrospective of Hockney’s work, which will run from February 9 to May 29, finishing before the July launch of the David Hockney Gallery in Bradford.

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