Conference date: 4 and 5 May 2017; Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain
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Organised in conjunction with the exhibition, this conference seeks to generate and uncover new research and scholarship on David Hockney. Hockney is arguably one of the most well-known and recognised figures in the histories of post-1960 British art, yet his status within these histories is often ambiguous. His popularity has undoubtedly presented a challege for art historians and art writers. Frequently characterised as a somewhat “unique” cultural figure, the work of critically assessing Hockey’s career and artworks alongside his contemporaries is a project that is only just beginning. An artist who has frequently changed his style and ways of working, embracing new technologies as he goes, Hockney has continuously experimented with different techniques across painting, drawing, print, photography, film and digital media to find new ways of seeing the world and of presenting that back to us.
This conference aims to build on and enrich our present understanding of the artist’s works and contexts. The hope is that the conference will address the breadth of his career across the six decades. What have been his art historical, literary or intellectual templates, and how has his work engaged with other kinds of contemporary artistic practice? How might we position Hockney in relation to wider critical discourses and cultural frameworks? An iconic figure in his own right, how has his persona been positioned in modern culture and what is the depth of his influence in art, design and a broader visual culture? We invite submissions on any aspect of Hockney’s art and its contexts, but we especially encourage submissions that look beyond the ‘classic’ period of the 1960s, that consider the range of the media in which Hockney has worked, and that place his practice within broader art-historical debates.