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David Hockney attended Bradford College of Art 1953-57, and The Royal College of Art in 1959, where his fellow-student R.B. Kitaj was to have a lasting influence on his work. In 1960 he visited the Picasso exhibition at the Tate in London, since which time Picasso’s work has continued to hold a strong fascination for him.

In his early works Hockney drew quite openly on current artistic styles such as Abstract Expressionism and the painting of Dubuffet, Art Brut and anonymous graffiti.
Hockney soon acquired an outstanding reputation as an artist and received an award on completing his studies at the Royal College of Art. In Los Angeles he met Henry Geldzahler, the curator of twentieth century art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, who later became a friend and promoter of his art. He moved to California soon after, where he has lived ever since, with the exception of a number of years spent in London and Paris.

The California light, the size of the country and the specific life-style influenced Hockney and inspired him to develop new themes such as the Shower Pictures of 1963. These were followed by his famous Swimming Pools, with their hedonistic atmosphere and intriguing treatment of the movement of water.