A portrait of Harry Styles by the artist David Hockney has been unveiled ahead of a major exhibition of new paintings by the British artist opening at the National Portrait Gallery in London this fall.
The pop star is recognizably himself in the work, with his hair swept back, donning a red-and-yellow striped cardigan and a string of pearls around his neck. The portrait was started in May 2022, when Styles visited David Hockney at his studio in Normandy, France.
Styles’s likeness of is one of more than 33 new works that were completed between 2021 and 2022, and will appear in the upcoming Hockney exhibition, which opens on November 2. Titled “David Hockney: Drawing from Life,” the show is an updated version of an earlier presentation of portraits by Hockney that opened at the National Portrait Gallery just weeks before lockdown in 2020. This show included drawings in a range of media, from pencil and ink to watercolor and the iPad, which Hockney famously pioneered as a new tool for making art.
Since then, the National Portrait Gallery has undergone a major refurbishment and rehang, and the moment has finally arrived to give David Hockney his due. Unlike the 20-day run of the ill-fated original show, the restaged, expanded show will remain open until January 21, 2024. Tickets went on sale today.
With the latest additions from 2021 and 2022, the bumper exhibition now boasts around 160 works, both new and old. Visitors attracted by the star appeal of Styles will also be moved by Hockney’s intimate portrayals of friends, like the textile designer Celia Birtwell, family members, including the artist’s mother and his partner Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima, and a new self-portrait of Hockney himself in a flat cap and tweed suit.
Other highlights include pencil drawings made in Paris in the early 1970s, a selection of self-portraits from the 1980s, and a 1975 group portrait that Hockney abandoned, greatly upsetting his parents. He later produced another version, (1977), which belongs to the Tate, but the lesser known, rejected work remained in hiding until it was debuted to the public for the first time during the exhibition’s original 2020 run.
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