Happy Birthday, David Hockney! Here Are 14 Iconic Works to Celebrate the Artist’s 80th Year

To celebrate the 80th birthday of British artist David Hockney, we’ve rounded up our favorite works created by the bespectacled icon. Institutions worldwide are fêting the artist, who has had a banner year: The retrospective put on by the Tate Britain was the most popular ever at that museum. The show is now on view at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and will finish its run next year at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Hockney’s hometown of Bradford, a new gallery was dedicated to the artist on July 7. The space will offer a host of activities for his birthday on Sunday, including wigs and glasses to “Hocknify” visitors and inflatable dachshunds in honor of his beloved pets.

The “California Dreaming” series marked Hockney’s first use of then newly available acrylic paint. He captured the idyllic landscape of the West Coast in The Splash (1966), A Bigger Splash (1967), and Beverly Hills Housewife (1966–67), all of which are iconic examples of his style. Some of Hockney’s most charming and intimate works are portraits of the artist’s friends, lovers, and family—not to mention the endless study of his own visage over the years.

Below are 11 highlights from the artist’s legendary career, tracing both his innovative use of materials and the range of his subjects.

David Hockney, Self Portrait with Red Braces (2003). © David Hockney, courtesy of Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney, Self Portrait with Red Braces (2003). © David Hockney, courtesy of Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney's <i>Man in Shower in Beverly Hills</i> (1964). © David Hockney, photo: Richard Schmidt, courtesy of Tate, London.

David Hockney’s Man in Shower in Beverly Hills (1964). © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt. Courtesy of Tate, London.

David Hockney, The Splash (1966). Courtesy of Sotheby's London.

David Hockney, The Splash (1966). © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt. Courtesy of Tate, London.

David Hockney, Beverly Hills Housewife (1966–67). © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt. Courtesy of Christie’s New York.

David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist ( Pool with Two Figures) 1972. Photo: courtesy David Hockney.

David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist ( Pool with Two Figures) (1972). © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney's <em>Gregory</em>, 1974

David Hockney’s Gregory, 1974

David Hockney, Model with Unfinished Self-Portrait (1977).
© David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney, Nichols Canyon (1980). © David Hockney, courtesy of Pru Cumings Associates.

David Hockney, Nichols Canyon (1980). © David Hockney. Courtesy of Pru Cumings Associates.

David Hockney, Pearblossom Hwy., 11 - 18th April 1986, #2 (1986). © David Hockney, courtesy of the Getty Museum.

David Hockney, Pearblossom Hwy., 11 – 18th April 1986, #2 (1986). © David Hockney. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

David Hockney's painting for the pool at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel, 1988

David Hockney’s painting for the pool at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, 1988

David Hockney’s 9 Canvas Study for The Grand Canyon, 1998 (1998). © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney, Woldgate Woods, 24, 25 and 26 October, 2006 (2006). Estimate $9–$12 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

David Hockney, Woldgate Woods, 24, 25 and 26 October, 2006 (2006). © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

David Hockney, Self Portrait, 25 March 2012, No. 3 (1236)(2012). Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria ©David Hockney.

David Hockney, Self Portrait, 25 March 2012, No. 3 (1236)(2012) ©David Hockney. Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria

David Hockney, Garden (2015). © David Hockney
Photo: Richard Schmidt.

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