Oct 9, 2007

How Warhol, Hockney’s Photos Led to Revolution


Written by Martin Gayford

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) — The love-hate affair between painting and photography has been simmering ever since the latter was invented. In the interval, photographers have often imitated the effects of painting, and — as a new show at London’s Hayward Gallery documents — many painters have worked from photographs.

This is a big, ambitious exhibition, with a high-sounding title, “The Painting of Modern Life,” and a novel thesis: Photo- based painting, introduced without fanfare in the early 1960s, was a major turning point in art history, it argues.

The exhibition contains a number of important works by celebrated artists of the ’60s such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter and Malcolm Morley. Yet the whole seems less than the parts. There are too many far less impressive works by more recent artists — and just too many paintings altogether.

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