David Hockney: Love Life

23 Sep 2023-14 Apr 2024

Lewes BN8 6LL


Experience rarely-seen early drawings by one of the most popular and recognisable artists of our time, David Hockney (b.1937).

From a box of matches on a table to bunches of spring onions and leeks, David Hockney’s works exemplify his ability to find beauty in the more intimate and seemingly ordinary aspects of life, encapsulating Hockney’s love for life and his profound connection with the world around him. Made over sixty years ago, these drawings still resonate with the way of life established at Charleston, in which art and experimental thinking are at the centre of everyday life. 

This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to marvel at the extraordinary power of observation and artistic finesse that characterises Hockney’s early works — some well known, and others rarely shown in public.

Whether capturing the character of his subjects, or rendering furniture and empty spaces with sensitivity and wit, Hockney’s drawings capture a depth of emotion with remarkable economy, using pencil, coloured crayon, and pen and ink.

In 2017, prior to the opening of a retrospective exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, David Hockney painted the words ‘Love Life’ on the final wall of the show. Explaining his actions, he said:

‘I love my work. And I think the work has love, actually … I love life. I write it at the end of letters — ‘Love life, David Hockney’. 

This exhibition takes place at Charleston in Firle