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Hockney On Art: Conversations with Paul Joyce [Paperback]

David Hockney
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.00
Price: 13.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Dec 2008

David Hockney is as fascinating as he is articulate on ways of seeing, and in this impressive book he leads us on an artistic journey where anything is possible. He considers the influence of Picasso and Rembrandt and speaks of Eastern conventions and perspective and of their relevance to his work. He points to Laurel and Hardy's lasting appeal in his conviction that popularity and art are not incompatible.

Hockney and his work have long been the subjects of controversy; few twentieth century artists have so successfully surmounted their cult image for three decades, and he remains one of our most relentlessly dedicated, versatile and original painters.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (4 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140870157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408701577
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 20.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

For the last 30 years David Hockney has been the foremost exponent of British art and "one of a tiny group of people who define their generation". In his conversations with filmmaker Paul Joyce, now collected together in Hockney on Art, he lays bare the thought processes of the artist at work. Hockney's musings and insights are skilfully interspersed with works by the artists who have inspired him--Rembrandt and Picasso are particular favourites--and with examples of his own methodical preparations for portrait-painting, in particular his habit of taking photographs of his subjects and reinventing them through the medium of paint. His black-and-white image of fashionable 1960s dress designer Ossie Clark and his wife and cat, marooned in the white fur carpet of their minimalist house, becomes a brilliant rendering of body language, light and colour in the finished work Mr and Mrs. Clark and Percy, reproduced on the facing page. Just to flick through this book is to be reminded of the prolific nature of Hockney's art and his uncompromising use of colour. "We are forced to make depictions. We have made them for 10,000 years now and we are certainly not going to stop. There's a deep desire within us that makes us want to do it. Every depiction was made by means of painting and drawing until the middle of the 19th century. The hand made them all until it looked as if the hand was stopping and then they were made by machinery. Now we're getting to the core. It looked as if the hand was a disappearing but, of course, it can't disappear, even from making the depiction." Hockney's words are frank, considered, highly original--not simply an embellishment of his paintings but a perfect counterpoint to them. Taking place from 1982-1999, in a variety of locations from London to Los Angeles, the end result of Hockney on Art is a fascinating glimpse of one of the most idiosyncratic and influential figures of the 20th century. --Catherine Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

David Hockney is one of the most intelligent artists alive. He is one of a tiny group of people who define their generation. We all have a stake in his success. (Grey Gowrie, SPECTATOR)

For the last 30 years David Hockney has been the foremost exponent of British art and "one of a tiny group of people who define their generation". In his conversations with filmmaker Paul Joyce, now collected together in Hockney on Art, he lays bare the (Catherine Gowrie, SPECTATOR)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is a series of interviews with Paul Joyce. It has many contextual images, both from Hockney and many famous painters/photographers, which add much value and greatly improve the readability.

It spans 2 deacdes the 80's and 90's.

It features very heavily David Hockneys' use and strong opinions on photography. Without doubt there is some real breakthrough thinking described in this book.

A compelling read that is splattered with gems and insights about someone Andrew Marr (at 2010 Hay Festival) described as one of the most impressive people he had ever met. After reading this I tend to agree.

A wonderful book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time, space and the artist 13 Oct 2010
By Peasant TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this book we share Paul Joyce's privileged conversations with Hockney. Joyce is just the "straight man" to Hockney, the star, whose meditations come across to us in the way Joyce himself heard them. What Hockney has to say is rivetting.
Hockney picks apart the way Western art, by espousing visual "realism", has lost the ability to convey time, or space except in the most unimaginative way. He looks at non-Western art from a unique viewpoint, and describes his attempts to communicate a "journey" rather than a snapshot view.
Using the camera in a way no photographer ever would, he explores perspective and the constraints it puts on our ways of seeing space. His thoughts illuminate Cubism as no-one else ever has and make us look at pre-Renaissance art with new eyes.
This is a subtle, complex book that repays re-reading. It is quite clear from this that, whatever you may think of his paintings, Hockney is a phenomenal intellect and probably the foremost thinker on art who is writing today. It is only because he doesn't follow the classic academic route that anyone has been able to ignore him.
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By Dr R TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
As the 2012 Royal Academy exhibition showed, "David Hockney is perhaps the best known and arguably the greatest living English artist". This is the opening line of this book, and still has great traction. Paul Joyce, a filmmaker, photographer and artist, began a series of interviews with the author in 1982 and this book, bringing them together, was published in 1999.

From his excursions into the media, it is clear that Hockney is not a retiring soul indeed, he probably has an opinion on every issue under the sun. A great deal of editing and structuring must have been undertaken to give this book the successful shape that it has. The publishers have produced a book that, in its presentation and layout, is much more than a series of musings. The text, photographs and illustrations of both the artist's own work and that of earlier artists, are very well integrated. Particular mention must be paid to the quality of the colour reproductions - an essential requirement for presenting Hockney's work.

One of the unexpected pleasures of the book is the way that the locations for the interviews, in cities as London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Cologne and Paris, subtly alter the perspective of the discussions. It is a pity that the fare for a trip to Bradford could not be found but there is a limit to everything. Hockney has always been concerned to inform his art through the application of new technologies, and so discussion of, in no particular order, Polaroid photography, hi-8 video recording, photocopying, faxing, laser printing and computers, is a very significant part of these pages. The artist's enthusiasm for technology is infectious, reminding one of boys of a similar generation and their Meccanos or train sets.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars George Pedder-Smith 31 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
An irritating book. Two amiable chaps egging each other on to put the world to rights, in this case the art world, without having to face conflicting opinions. At one point Hockney regrests the lack of people challenging his ideas so why not introduce a devil's advocate into this cosy dialogue. But in that case the book would not be so easy to make. All that was needed was a lot of hot air, a tape recorder, an audio typist and a big name. As for the photographic illustrations, you can see Hockney sleeping, getting out of his car, sitting in his car, standing by a dusty road, all these shots being the size of a large stamp and designed to fill the margins without copyright problems as they are all by Paul Joyce.

All this having been said, there are some insights, if you can be bothered to sift through the verbage. When you find them it's often difficult to know exactly what is meant because that is what conversation is like, vague and ephemeral. There's nothing new about Cubism here, that you can't read elsewhere in the comments of Georges Braque, Richardson's biography of Picasso and elsewhere. Not that Hockney is claiming to be original on this topic.

The book is more about photography than art so the title is deceptive. There are better illustrations than the ones mentioned above, I just find mindless padding irritating. If you buy the book, look at the photographic collage of the Grand Canyon, which reduces it to something mediocre. The only reason we can interpret it as the magnificent canyon we know is because we've already seen the kind of ordinary photos which Hockney seems to criticise. If Hockney's collage was your first view of the canyon you would wonder what all the fuss was about.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the images 4 May 2011
By Seaside - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Almost every page is Hockney's art or photos of Hockney, at work, in life. Aside from the conversations with Paul Joyce, the book is lovely. I sold a couple of this book, but had to keep one in my own collection.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars he talks therefore he is 10 Feb 2004
By Denise Delong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
a lot of chumming by Paul Joyce, pandering to Mr. Hockney who holds forth with nothing to give him pause.
I admire mr. hockneys paintings but I think he should have heeded one of his heroes, Picasso, and say little. Let his work speak for itself.
I am sorry I read it because now I will remember blah-blah-blah whenever I see one of his paintings. Regrettable.
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