Hockney in the 60s was that rare thing – an artist at the forefront of the avant-garde of the day, and a well-known public figure. With his Yorkshire accent, bleached blond hair, owlish glasses and frank homosexuality he stood out at the Royal College of Art in London.
This exhibition offers a portrait of the artist as a young man, in London and Los Angeles. His work of the time is marked by a unique pictorial wit. It is informed by the books he was reading, places he was visiting, people he desired, lifestyles he aspired to - and the art that inspired him.
At this time Hockney was playing with a multitude of styles. His breakthrough works were inspired by the abstract painting of the time. But they departed from it with their use of autobiographical messages, often code that referred to his current crushes, including his Doll Boy, Cliff Richard.