David Hockney: Early reflections                   

11 October 2013 - 16 March 2014 

Free entry                                                                   

Painting of a man bending over in the shower

'Man in Shower in Beverly Hills', 1964 © David Hockney. Photo © Tate, London 2013

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David Hockney is considered to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. This exhibition brought together a unique selection of paintings and prints, which charted the early development of this iconic British artist. 

Featuring work from the Walker’s own collection, including Peter Getting out of Nick's Pool , which won the John Moores Painting Prize in 1967, together with key pieces from the Arts Council Collection and other loans, the exhibition explored Hockney’s early influences.

With almost 40 pieces on display, dating between 1960 to 1978, the exhibition was an insight into Hockney’s prodigious talent which was evident even as a student. 

Through recurring obsessions, such as the evolving references to his own homosexuality, depictions of the reflective qualities of water and his persistent return to portraiture, the exhibition revealed how his style, which flourished during the 1960s, had changed dramatically by the early 1970s.


  • In the Mood for Love - looked at some of the major early paintings that Hockney produced at the Royal College of Art (1959-62). 
  • Picturing Poetry - explored Hockney’s interest in poetry and looks at how he was inspired by the poems of one of his favourite writers, Constantine P Cavafy.
  • On Reflection - showed a selection of Hockney’s water-themed paintings. Those of swimming pools are among his most renowned. 
  • Familiar Faces - looked at Hockney's portraits, which include images of his friends.

Video - a curator's view

Hockney exhibition video

Head of Fine Art, Ann Bukantas, picked her favourite work from the exhibition.   Watch the video here.



Image gallery

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David Hockney: Early Reflections is part of National Museums Liverpool's Modern Masters exhibition series part funded by the European Union - the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).