Britain’s greatest living artist David Hockney is displaying his work at Tate Britain in a retrospective exhibition that is proving to be the gallery’s most popular show to date, it has been reported.
After finally closing its doors to visitors at the end of May, the Tate saw almost half a million people attend the exhibition in the 16-week period it was open to the public.
Long queues and busy gallery spaces were caused by roughly 4,300 visitors each day. According to the Guardian, nearly 35,000 advance tickets were sold before it even opened, which is more than any other show in Tate history.
Due to demand from art enthusiasts across the UK, the gallery had to open until midnight on the final three days of the exhibition. Such a surge in the number of visitors solidifies Hockney’s position as the UK’s most popular living artist.
In addition to the exhibition being the most popular at the gallery on London’s Millbank - either in its time as the Tate Gallery or since it became Tate Britain in 2000 - it was also the most visited show for any living artist ever held at any of Tate’s four galleries.
This places Hockney slightly ahead of Damien Hirst, whose show at Tate Modern in 2012 attracted 463,087 visitors.
However, Hockney’s efforts do not surpass Tate Modern’s 2014 Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition, which attracted a staggering 562,622 visitors.
Director of Tate Britain, Alex Farquharson, told the Guardian that the gallery was the “perfect place to showcase one of our greatest living artists”.
He said: “The response to this retrospective – the first in 29 years – has been incredible. It is wonderful that so many people have had the chance to see it, and that they found the exhibition so exciting, thought-provoking and moving. We look forward to many more people seeing the exhibition when it travels to Paris and New York.”
The retrospective exhibition looked at six decades of Hockney’s work, ranging from his student days at the Royal College of Art in London, to his transporting views of Los Angeles and Yorkshire landscapes after returning to the UK to live in Bridlington.
In recent years, Hockney has been living in California and working on pieces of art, including a series of portraits at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Born on July 9th 1937, Hockney has excelled as a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. In the 1960s, he played a crucial part in the pop art movement.