DAVID HOCKNEY'S YOSEMITE
AND MASTERS OF CALIFORNIA BASKETRY
David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry highlights the impact that Yosemite has had over time and space on artistic production, from the valley’s original Indigenous inhabitants to one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The exhibition marks the first showing of Hockney’s work in Arizona and will highlight the influence of the American landscape on his seminal work while illuminating how Indigenous women inspired by the same landscape have made significant contributions to the field of art production. The objects on view will illustrate ways in which technology can be implemented in artistic creation, from the sophisticated technology of basketry to the innovative use of digital technologies like the iPad. Included are more than 20 spectacular examples of Mono Lake Paiute and Miwok basketry, made by 9 different artists in the early to mid-20th century, as well as 29 of Hockney’s iPad drawings printed on paper, and his rarely shown photographic collages from the 1980s. Situated against the backdrop of the Yosemite Valley’s history—from first contact between Indigenous tribes in the region and Euro-American settlers from the Mariposa Battalion and the Mariposa War, on through the California Gold Rush and Yosemite Indian Field Days—the exhibition illuminates how Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists have and continue to interpret this landscape in visual culture and fine art.
David Hockney (born . Bradford, England, 1937) is considered one of the preeminent draftsmen of the 20th and 21st centuries and is often referred to as Britain’s greatest living artist. His work, in an astonishing variety of media, has been shown in solo exhibitions and retrospectives around the world for more than five decades. Among his many awards and distinctions, he was included in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—the Order of Merit, the United Kingdom’s most prestigious honor for achievement in the arts, held by only 24 living recipients. In October 2018, Westminster Abbey unveiled an enormous stained-glass window to honor Queen Elizabeth II as the longest longest-reigning monarch in history; Hockney designed the Queen’s Window on the iPad.
Nellie Jameson Washington
The Yosemite Valley landscape has long inspired artistic production. During the early decades of the 20th century, production of baskets in the Yosemite Valley was at its zenith, fueled by a newly established tourism-based economy. Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute women began expanding their practice of making baskets as traditional functional objects, evolving them into objects designed for artistic consumption. The work of these artists is considered to this day a benchmark for excellence in the field.
Photographs courtesy of Craig Smith, Heard Museum