David Hockney at Tate Britain:colourful new exhibition mirrors this season's bold interiors trends

As Tate Britain celebrates David Hockney’s work, designers are using his bold palette.

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A major retrospective of David Hockney’s is at Tate Britain until the end of May. Hockney’s portrayals of California from the Sixties and Seventies, whether atmospheric snapshots of stylish interiors or his now-iconic depictions of LA swimming pools, captured the aesthetic of an era.

According to the exhibition’s curator, Chris Stephens, on his arrival in California in the mid-Sixties, Hockney “defined a visual identify for Los Angeles…his place-image for [the city] is that of an outsider, idealised and exoticised.”

That exoticism and the unbridled glamour of Hockney’s LA works is supported by the colour trends in interiors this season, as designers employ the English artist’s confident, spirited palette.

Hot tips and the designers to watch

  • American designer Jonathan Adler does a strong line in playful furniture in Lucite, lacquer and Pop Art colours, while French brand Petite Friture’s Hoff and Hollo collections combining brights and pastels, available at Heal’s, could almost be straight out of a Hockney mise-en-scène.
Bewitching in blue: Maxime lounge chair, £1,750, by Jonathan Adler
  • London-based reinterprets 20th-century styles in a modern palette, while Amy Somerville and Rockett St George both offer cocktail party furniture in bold, vibrant velvets.
  • If wall-to-wall colour feels overwhelming, accents in primary hues add a dash of interest and character. Online shop A Splash of Colour lets you browse products by colour, from lighting and accessories to furniture, wallpaper and art. Search under bright red, pale turquoise and baby pink for pieces that tie into this look.
  • For a more literal take, Habitat’s creative director, Polly Dickens, has aimed to reproduce the “purity and vividness of colour” and “oxygenated, light-filled quality” of Hockney’s work in the brand’s new-season ceramics and textiles, while David Linley, who cites Hockney as an influence, will release his Swimming Pool mirror, with definite Hockney-esque undertones, in April.
Dive into style: the Swimming Pool mirror, available from April at David Linley, price on application
  • At Designers Guild, you can buy the paints that have been used on the walls of the Tate for the exhibition. Hockney worked with the brand to choose five shades that resonate most with his style, including a dusky lilac, a candy pink and a deep red.
  • Elsewhere, mid-century designs in bold colours are a sure-fire way to capture this look — and what could be more evocative of a golden lifestyle than Vitra’s classic Panton chair, designed in 1960 and available from next month in a new, cheerful yellow? Appropriately enough, this fresh colourway is called Sunlight.


    David Hockney is at Tate Britain from February 9 until May 29

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