No pithy introduction needed for one of the highlights of the 2022 Vienna art year. The Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien’s spring exhibition takes a look at 60 or so years of David Hockney.
- Major retrospective across time and media
- Many works drawn from the Tate’s prestigious Hockney collection in the UK
- Runs Feb 10 – Jun 19, 2022
- See also:
Treasures from the Tate
(Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy, 1970–1971; Acryl auf Leinwand, 213.4 x 304.8 cm; press photo © David Hockney, Collection Tate, UK)
If you think some random travel writer like me can do justice to a name like David Hockney, then think again. Once the world’s “most expensive” living painter — for Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) in 2018 — this is a man who has made that rare leap into the wider public consciousness through his art and its (and his) cultural impact.
Suffice to say this retrospective offers a rare opportunity to see a wealth of Hockney’s oeuvre in Austria.
The exhibition draws extensively on a cooperation with the UK’s Tate, whose 2017 retrospective at Tate Britain broke pre-sale records at the time for the prestigious group of galleries. That exhibition went on to, for example, New York, where one reviewer in the New Yorker magazine described it as:
…the Met’s ravishing survey of David Hockney’s six-decade career.
Many of the works on display at the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien’s exhibition come from the Tate’s collection, including some deserving of that rarest of titles: “truly iconic.”
You see, for example, 1977’s My Parents, famously without the mirror image of Hockney that appeared in his abandoned 1975 painting with similar subjects. Or the swimming pool paintings that added his own distinctive twist to both our concept of LA and the traditional art motif of water and bathers.
And as a little bonus, spot a handful of preparatory studies, for example for the Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy work; the finished version also features in the exhibition.
Perhaps it’s just a need in dark days, but I found myself drawn to Hockney’s more colourful works. Like The Eleventh V. N. Painting from 1992. Or 2008’s Felled Trees on Woldgate.
Landscapes. Portraits. Nudes. Drawings. Videos. Digital art. The A Rake’s Progress (1961–1963) and Cavafy (1966) series of etchings. And more. Enjoy a journey through a creative life.
Tickets and dates
View Hockney’s works from February 10th to June 19th, 2022. The Kunstforum only opens during its major exhibitions, so a ticket to get inside is, essentially, a ticket for the Hockney exhibition. Be sure to pop downstairs, too, for a peek at the small Tresor exhibition space.
Hockney is not the only contemporary great in town. At the time of writing, the Albertina Modern has an Ai Weiwei exhibition for much of the same period. And just to throw a slightly earlier, but equally resonant, name into the mix: the Albertina’s Edvard Munch exhibition starts just after Hockney, too.
How to get to the Hockneys
Look at the bottom of the main Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien article for travel tips. The imposing building sits on the Freyung square, home to various noble townhouses, an abbey, and the constitutional court. And a water feature, though a little less bright and colourful than one of Hockney’s pool pictures.
Address: Freyung 8, 1010 Vienna