The California-based artist David Hockney is having his moment in the sun. After his triumphant exhibition of landscapes at the Royal Academy in 2012, which pulled in 600,000 visitors, the British artist is to have a major retrospective at Tate Britain. Opening in 2017, it will be one of the largest exhibitions Tate Britain has ever staged. A second show at the Royal Academy featuring 70 portraits by Hockney is due to open in July.
The art market is also sitting up and taking notice. Last week two paintings by Hockney fetched high prices at Christie’s contemporary evening sale. Beach Umbrella, painted in 1971 after his famous Pop art period, doubled its estimate at £2.7m (£3.1m with fees).
Hockney, who turns 80 next year, has been actively involved in selecting works for the Tate Britain exhibition, which spans six decades of his career and comes nearly 30 years after his last retrospective travelled from Los Angeles to the Tate in 1988. Works range from his homoerotic Love paintings from 1960-61, to his famous Los Angeles swimming pool canvases, to the Yorkshire landscapes of the early 2000s, to the works he has made since his return to California in 2013. More than 160 works are expected to be included in total, including his iPad experiments.
The Bradford-born artist said he took pleasure in revisiting works made decades ago. “Many of them seem like old friends to me now. We’re looking back over a lifetime with this exhibition, and I hope, like me, people will enjoy seeing how the roots of my new and recent work can be seen in the developments over the years,” he said.
The Tate Britain show, which is scheduled to open on 9 February next year, will travel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It has been organised by Chris Stephens, the head of displays at Tate Britain and Andrew Wilson, the museum’s curator of Modern and contemporary art.
• David Hockney (9 February 2017-29 May 2017), Tate Britain, London