True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney
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True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney

4.55 of 5 stars 4.55  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Soon after the book's publication in 1982, artist David Hockney read Lawrence Weschler's Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin and invited Weschler to his studio to discuss it, initiating a series of engrossing dialogues, gathered here for the first time. Weschler chronicles Hockney's protean production and speculat...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 26th 2009 by University of California Press (first published October 1st 2008)
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Jeff Jackson
I picked this up because it's the companion volume to Lawrence Weschler's classic "Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees." Like that profile of artist Robert Irwin, these interviews with David Hockney are investigations into perception, how we view the world and how we represent it.

Throughout, Hockney makes a number of persuasive and provocative arguments: We still haven't grappled with the ramifications of cubism, that Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" is more realistic than...more
Emily
Since no one else has finished reading this yet (I mean, in the world of goodreads), I feel a little obligated to write something about it. Here's my review: this book is wonderful. I picked it up a few months after reading the new edition of Weschler's book on Robert Irwin - Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees. Although the Hockney book is set up as a companion to the Irwin volume, I found it even more enjoyable and thought provoking. Not that they shouldn't be read together (bo...more
Michael N
Made for a great companion piece to the re-released Secret Knowledge. At times I felt like I was swept up in the intricacies of some sort of mystery novel; particularly, the essays examining Hockney's investigations into the "optical look." Although I was pretty familiar with the Hockney-Falco thesis, as I had read the original Secret Knowledge first, I was surprised by the relevance of the surrounding essays in the way in which they provided a greater context for Hockney and his examinations/ex...more
Joseph
Lawrence Weschler has produced two of the best books about artists ever.

This one, about Robert Irwin, is a set of essays based on conversations Weschler had on and off with Irwin over the past 30 years, and the two of them make a wonderful intellectual match.

This new edition issued in 2008 includes lots of color photos (which Irwin didn't permit when the '82 edition came out) and six new chapters.

(The other book is Weschler's "True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney....more
Paul
Absolutely the best book of art writing that I've read. Fantastic, straightforward but not simple, train of conscientious, aesthetic logic that chugs along nicely with artist's continual visual breakthroughs in what must be the best model of career development I've ever come across. The enthusiasm and wit of the writer delivers Hockney's insatiable and progressive 'seeing' in a way which opens the readers mind not only to the artist's discoveries but to their own re-discovery of this steady and...more
Leendert
few can equal weschler - a writer who understands and explains fluently and gracefully

ultimately this is about hockney and his utterly amazing evolution as an artist, a tireless experimenter, an intelligent, interesting and vivacious human being.

a completely absorbing book about seeing and art - it gave me a deeper understanding of what has always bothered me about photography as art and forever changed how i understand the visual arts, painting, cubism, one point perspective.


Jo Chester
My absolute favourite living artist. Hockney not only is a brilliant artist, it is his intelligence and provocative thinking that is so interesting as provided in these conversations with the author. Loved it.
Megan
Lawrence Weschler! Is so good!
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Lawrence Weschler, a graduate of Cowell College of the University of California at Santa Cruz (1974), was for over twenty years (1981-2002) a staff writer at The New Yorker, where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies. He is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award (for Cultural Reporting in 1988 and Magazine Reporting in 1992) and was also a recipient of Lannan Lit...more
More about Lawrence Weschler...
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences Vermeer in Bosnia: Selected Writings Boggs: A Comedy of Values

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