David Hockney has been kind of a rock star in contemporary art history, a flamboyant figure originally fêted for his pioneering use of the cool, magazine-style imagery that was identified with early Pop Art, as well as for his exuberant lust for life. Born in Yorkshire, he first visited America in the early 1960s, befriending Andy Warhol in New York, but it was California that captured his heart — its swimming pools, its palm trees, its beautiful tanned men — and in 1964 he came to live full time in Los Angeles. (He currently splits his time between homes in LA and London.) His colorful depictions of men and pools have the detachment and the flatness associated with Pop Art, but over the course of a long and varied career, exploring media including photography, set design, and printmaking, Hockney developed a personal realistic style, as you can see in his remarkable portraits of the many people he has crossed paths with. “DAVID HOCKNEY PORTRAITS,” which opens at the Museum of Fine Arts on February 26, is devoted solely to Hockney’s portraiture, with curiously staged images of the artists’ parents, loads of self-portraits, and a rogue’s gallery of famous friends including Warhol, Divine, and Henry Geldzahler.
Boston plays host to the College Art Association’s 94th Annual Conference February 22-25, drawing CAA’s art-loving members here from all over for a lively exchange of ideas and information about art and art history. This has inspired local galleries and museums to keep extended hours and hold special receptions, many of which are free and open to the public; they include a special reception at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Mills Gallery on February 24 from 6 to 8 pm, when you can enjoy the current exhibition “AFTER” in good company, and a reception for Art Interactive’s special project “NEW MEDIA/NEW WORK” on February 23 from 6 to 9 pm.
Working with paint and collaged elements, distinguished Native American artist Jaune Quick-To-See Smith is described on the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Web site as creating art that “addresses the myths of her ancestors in the context of current issues facing American Indians.” New Mexico–based, she’s in town as a visiting artist at the New England School of Art & Design, where her exhibition “JAUNE QUICK-TO-SEE SMITH: WHERE DO WE COME FROM? WHAT ARE WE? WHERE ARE WE GOING?” is up through March 16. Also on view is “RIC HAYNES: LORE” in the gallery’s project space, with work about the creation mythologies of indigenous Americans based on this Boston-based artist’s extensive experience with the Crow people in Montana. NESAD hosts a free public reception for the artists on March 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
“David Hockney Portraits” @ Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston | Feb 26–May 14 | 617.267-9300 or www.mfa.org | “After” @ Boston Center for the Arts’ Mills Gallery, 539 Tremont St, Boston | Through March 19 | Public CAA reception Feb 24, 6-8 pm | 617.426.8835 or www.bcaonline.org | “New Media/New Work” @ Art Interactive, 130 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge | Feb 22-26 | Public CAA rception Feb 23, 6-9 pm | 617.498.0100 or www.artinteractive.org | “Jaune Quick-to-See Smith” and “Ric Haynes” @ New England School of Art & Design, 75 Arlington St, Boston | Through March 16 | Reception March 1, 5:30-7:30 pm | 617.573.8785 or www.suffolk.edu