Plastic Tree Plus City Hall
David Hockney, English, Plastic Tree Plus City Hall, 1964, Acrylic on canvas; 156.8 x 121.3 cm (61 3/4 x 47 3/4 inches), Gift of Richard Brown Baker 1996.11.21
David Hockney is well known for quirky portraits, interiors, and everyday scenes. His vibrant paintings of the early 1960s are associated with the emergence of Pop Art, but he has always drawn on a variety of past styles as well. Late in 1963, he moved to the United States from Britain. While archetypal Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein worked in New York, Hockney settled in Los Angeles, a place that has provided inspiration throughout his career. He painted Plastic Tree Plus City Hall shortly after arriving in California. Juxtaposing naturalism and artificiality, the tree rises in front of a brushy abstract background, while chains of crisp white circles resembling clouds or cartoon thought bubbles lead to a skyscraper (City Hall) in the distance.