The Bradford-born artist has lived in London, Paris and Los Angeles. But it was an extended stay in Bridlington, where his late mother had lived, in the first decade of this century that led to one of his most prolific and fascinating artist periods, lovingly portraying the landscapes of the area.
The artist moved back to his home county in 2005, and began a series of paintings that includes one of his most famous – the epic Bigger Trees Near Warter. Fifty individual panels that join together to make one huge artwork, it was painted in Bridlington and depicts a stand of trees just ten miles up the road from the Pipe and Glass.
Other paintings created in the following few years include portraits of Sledmere, Garrowby Hill, Millington and Fridaythorpe, all within a few minutes’ drive of South Dalton.
And where did the grand artist like to eat when he was living and working in Bridlington? Obviously, the Pipe and Glass!
“Mr Hockney ate here on more than one occasion in the late noughties,” says James. “It was a real honour to welcome him to the Pipe and Glass.”
Many of the East Yorkshire paintings from that period were featured in the exhibition A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2012, a collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
And they can be seen in the remarkable book on display at East Yorkshire’s Artmarket Gallery in Cottingham.
A Bigger Book is signed by Hockney and is limited edition of just 9,000, each numbered and signed by the artist. It contains 450 prints dating back to 1953, including some never seen before, and just 15 lines of text by Hockney, who says: “A book like this shouldn’t have much text.”
It includes his 1960s depictions of swinging London, the famous Californian pool paintings, portraits, iPad drawings alongside the East Yorkshire landscapes. There are also drawings, photo-composites, collages, stage designs and images from his innovative multi-camera video works.
Published by Taschen, the book weighs in at a mighty 35kg, and comes complete with its own specially designed stand by Apple designer Marc Newson with legs in Hockney’s favourite blue, red and yellow and an acrylic platform.
Hockney himself was involved in every stage of the book’s production, and calls it ‘an autobiography in pictures, made by a person who loves pictures and makes them’.
The signed book, complete with stand, is available at the Artmarket Gallery, each signed book costs £2250.