Hockney’s Eye — Teylers Museum

Hockney’s Eye

Art, technology and depiction

Sep 23, 2022 to Jan 29, 2023

This autumn, Teylers Museum will be dedicated to the work of David Hockney, one of the best-known and best-loved artists of our time. In the exhibition Hockney’s Eye (23 September 2022 until 29 January 2023), Hockney’s work will be shown in direct dialogue with drawings, paintings and scientific objects. Find out about Hockney’s original theories on perspective and the use of optical aids. Discover how he experimented with them, and view the work of the Old Masters through his eyes.

The world on a flat surface

Throughout his career, Hockney (United Kingdom, 1937) has studied how the Old Masters translated spatial reality onto a flat surface. According to Hockney, they not only did this on the basis of direct observation (‘eyeballing’ is Hockney’s term) or using linear perspective, but for centuries they also made use of optical devices, such as lenses and mirrors. In Hockney’s Eye, this important – and not uncontroversial – theme in his oeuvre is the focus of an exhibition for the first time. Hockney’s work will be shown next to the work of Old Masters like Claude Lorrain and Pieter Saenredam and the optical instruments they may have used, according to Hockney. In Teyler’s unique historical context, as a laboratory of the sciences and art history, we will look through Hockney’s eyes at the history of art.

Drawings, paintings and digital artwork

Discover in Hockney’s drawings, paintings and photographic and digital artwork, how he continues to find new and dynamic ways of depicting the visual world, by, for example, reversing perspective or using unconventional aids, such as the camera lucida. Hockney’s Eye is organised in collaboration with The Fitzwilliam Museum and The Heong Gallery, Downing College in Cambridge, curated by Jane Munro and guest curators Martin Kemp and Martin Gayford. Hockney’s work will not only be shown in the Exhibition Gallery, but also integrated in the museum’s historical paintings galleries. Reconstructions of historical drawing devices, such as a perspective frame, a convex mirror and a camera obscura, will be made for the science rooms and the Pieter Teyler House.

Hockney’s Eye opens at Teylers Museum on 23 September. Tickets can be booked starting on 25 August via teylersmuseum.nl.

Image: David Hockney, Self Portrait, 22nd November 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 91,4 x 76,2 cm. © David Hockney
Photo: Jonathan Wilkinson