Sussex show focuses on rarely seen drawings by David Hockney

David Hockney - Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater, 1970. Pic by Fabrice Gibert
David Hockney - Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater, 1970. Pic by Fabrice Gibert

Spokeswoman Felicity Avenell said: “Charleston is thrilled to present Love Life, a collection of rarely seen drawings by one of the most popular and recognisable artists of our time. This captivating exhibition will be shown in the Wolfson Gallery at Charleston in Firle (until March 10 2024), offering visitors a unique opportunity to marvel at the extraordinary power of observation and artistic finesse that characterises Hockney's early works.”

In 2017, prior to the opening of a retrospective exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, David Hockney (b1937) painted the words Love Life on the final wall of the show. Explaining his actions, he said: “I love my work. And I think the work has love, actually … I love life. I write it at the end of letters – ‘Love life, David Hockney.’”

Felicity added: “The exhibition showcases a remarkable series of drawings that encapsulate David Hockney's love for life and his profound connection with the world around him.

"During the formative stages of his career, Hockney's artistic brilliance manifested through his ability to capture the essence of his subjects with remarkable economy, using pencil, coloured crayon and pen and ink.

“Visitors to the exhibition will be enthralled by Hockney's depictions of everyday objects, still lifes and architectural works. From a box of matches on a table to bunches of spring onions and leeks, Hockney's works exemplify his ability to find beauty in the more intimate and seemingly ordinary aspects of life. Whether capturing the character of his subjects or rendering furniture and empty spaces with sensitivity and wit, Hockney's drawings capture a depth of emotion that cannot be easily replicated in grand painted portraits.

“The exhibition is organised by the Holburne Museum, Bath. With many of Hockney’s drawings on loan from private collections, Love Life is a wonderful way to enjoy his artistry.”

Curator Chris Stephens said: “I am so excited to present this wonderful show of master drawings, some well-known and some rarely seen. I have long believed David Hockney to be one of the greatest draughtsmen of all time and I consider his drawings of the later 60s and 70s to be among the greatest works by him and, for that matter, by anyone else.”

Nathaniel Hepburn, director and chief executive at Charleston says: "Made over sixty years ago, Hockney's drawings of intimate moments still resonate with a freshness and joy. It’s wonderful to see these works at Charleston – a place where art and experimental thinking have always been placed at the centre of everyday life. Hockney's work exemplifies these ideals, finding beauty in the ordinary moments and creating a connection to audiences and the queer experience across the generations.”