After eight years in Yorkshire, the 76-year-old artist is back in the city where he lived for nearly three decades. Ahead of a major new show in San Francisco, he talks about painting new portraits (including Larry Gagosian), a donation to the Tate, and life after a stroke.
David Hockney in his LA studio with some of the works for his upcoming show. They include charcoal drawings of Yorkshire and portraits of friends, including assistant Jean-Pierre Goncalves De Lima (with head in hands)
Before arriving in Los Angeles, I received a catalogue for David Hockney’s imminent San Francisco show. Every new picture from the past year was in sombre black and white. There were intimate, interior portraits of close friends; the “vandalised totem” drawings of felled and fallen trees from November; and charcoal drawings of a Yorkshire spring. “When Hockney started making these charcoal portraits, Gregory [Gregory Evans, Hockney’s friend and curator of the show] said he felt a strong sense of mortality in them,” notes an essay in the catalogue.