Going through the archives back to the summer of ‘92. Superstar painter David Hockney is in Brussels for his retrospective at the Palais des Beaux-Arts.
At the opening
David Hockney at the press viewing with curly-haired Piet Coessens, then director of exhibitions. In the background Hockney’s famous painting We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961).
Hockney began wearing hearing aids in his forties. They would be a different colour in each ear, just like he always wore two differently coloured socks.
David Hockney came to Brussels with his good friend Henry Geldzahlzer. They were introduced in 1962 by Andy Warhol, when Henry was curator of American Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and remained firm friends. Geldzahler’s death of pancreatic cancer, only two years after their Brussels trip, was a severe blow to Hockney, who had already lost so many friends to AIDS. “Mr. Geldzahler could be both charming and undiplomatic, often at the same time,” said the New York Times in his obituary.
Geldzahler and his boyfriend Christopher Scott had been the subject of a large Hockney painting. Here Hockney and Geldzahler are posing for another one of those famous ‘double portraits’: that of writer Christopher Isherwood and his partner, the painter Don Bachardy (1968).
IN THE CITY
Strolling on the Grand-Place with Henry Geldzahler, Martine Caeymaex, deputy director of exhibitions, and Andrea Addison from the British Council.
At the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
At the famous Brussels restaurant ‘Taverne du Passage’, which opened in 1928, the same year as the Palais des Beaux-Arts, and stil exists today.
Exhibition view with from left to right: Christopher Isherwood and Don Burgundy (1968), A Lawn Being Sprinkled (1967), Medical Building (1966) and Ordinary Picture (1964).
Exhibition view with from left to right California, 1987 (copied from 1965), Pearblossom Hwy. I, 11-18th April, 1986, and A Bigger Wave (1989).
The poster for the Hockney show featured his painting Montcalm Interior with Two Dogs (1988). The retrospective was part of a larger festival celebrating British culture in Brussels. The festival also included performances of the famous Glyndebourne production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, for which Hockney designed the sets, at La Monnaie.