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Hockney’s Eye: The Art and Technology of Depiction

This exhibition is now in our archive.

★★★★★ "This exhibition leaves you in awe of Hockney" — The Guardian
★★★★ "Art history and scientific discovery encounter one another on equal terms" — The Times
★★★★ "Hockney will be 85 in July and this feels like an early celebration,
a party to which all ages are welcome" — The Observer
★★★★ "A blooming good show" — The Telegraph

One of the most influential artists of our time, David Hockney (b.1937) takes over Cambridge this spring and summer with an exhibition across The Fitzwilliam Museum and The Heong Gallery, Downing College.

Through both traditional and cutting-edge ways of making art, the exhibition explores Hockney’s obsession with how we see the world, and how our world of time and space can be captured on the surface of a flat picture.

In his use of cameras, digital drawing, the iPad, and digital film, Hockney follows a tradition of creative experiments with optical devices that goes back from Ingres’ proposed use of the camera lucida to Canaletto’s camera obscura and to the birth of Renaissance naturalism in the 15th century.

In The Fitzwilliam Museum’s picture galleries, Hockney’s drawings, paintings and digital artworks are shown in a series of provocative encounters with works by artists including Claude Monet, John Constable and Andy Warhol.

The display at The Heong Gallery charts Hockney’s pioneering modern experiments from the 1960s to the present day in bringing hand, eye, and optical instruments together, with the iconic Grand Canyon I (2017) among the many glorious and daring works on display.

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This exciting collaborative venture would not have been possible without the generous support of our exhibition funders; The Fitzwilliam Museum Development Trust; Rothschild Foundation; Ross Foundation; The Heong Gallery 1717 Patrons; Alwyn Heong; Chris Bartram; Endurance Estates and MPM Properties; Lucy Gordon Ptashne and Mark Ptashne; Mark Green; Mervyn and Jill Parry; and Simon Wood.

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