David Hockney

Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians

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About this artwork

This was painted at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where the campus is on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. However Hockney's studio had no windows, so he painted this imaginary picture instead. It is inspired entirely by pictures in magazines and romantic ideas of the 'Wild West'. The nearest 'Indians' are in fact at least three hundred miles from Boulder. The chair was included for compositional purposes, and to explain its being there Hockney called the Indians 'tired'. The striped mountains in the background were a light-hearted response to contemporary striped, abstract paintings by American artists. They may also be influenced by pictures of rock layers from geographical magazines.

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  • title: Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians
  • accession number: GMA 1538
  • artist: David HockneyEnglish (born 1937)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Mountains Pop Art Ethnicity
  • materials: Acrylic on canvas
  • date created: 1965
  • measurements: 170.40 x 252.80 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1976
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

David Hockney

David Hockney

Hockney was born in Bradford. He won widespread recognition while still a student at the Royal College of Art in London. His early work is often associated with the British Pop Art movement. In 1964 Hockney moved to Los Angeles, where he still lives. The open spaces, bright light and sensuous lifestyle of Southern California influenced his work. His paintings became more naturalistic and he worked more frequently from photographs and drawings. His recent work has explored the use of technology to make art, such as photocopiers, fax machines and Polaroid cameras.