David Hockney: art and technology

David Hockney has always pushed the limits of technology in his art and his latest exhibition David Hockney: a bigger exhibition at the de Young in San Francisco contains works that clearly demonstrate this tendency. In addition to more traditional media, the exhibition includes example of paintings that Hockney created using the ‘Brushes’ application on his iPad, as well as digital films displayed over multiple screens. You can see some examples of this kind of work on Hockney’s website: http://www.hockneypictures.com/home.php.

Long before the iPad, way back in 1988, Hockney was experimenting with the then cutting-edge-technology of the fax machine as a means of printmaking. The NGA’s Tyler Collection contains over 200 faxes sent by Hockney to Ken Tyler in the years 1988-89. The faxes range from mischievous musings:

to portraits of friends, both human and animal:

Complex images made up of sixteen or more sheets, similar to his later panel paintings – like the NGA’s A bigger Grand Canyonwere sent with a key showing how to assemble the overall image: a kind of jigsaw puzzle for the recipient.


Abstract landscape

Check out our website for more on David Hockney: http://bit.ly/IeAOkJ


  1. RageFace

    I hope there are no thermo-faxes in the colleciton! in fact, if there were they would probably have faded by now – or at least started to 🙂

    • tylercollection

      Hi RageFace
      We are working closely with our Conservation Department on these works; the thermo-faxes are certainly difficult to deal with. We can send you some more information if you like.
      Thanks for reading!

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