Art: Private View

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The Independent Culture
David Hockney to 18 Sept

Annely Juda Gallery, London W1

David Hockney looms large in this year's Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, his high-coloured Grand Canyon murals filling the centre room and bouncing back from rather odd mirrors placed in the corners. Such trickery aside, they are some of the best he's done in years.

His London dealer, the Annely Juda Gallery, has mounted a complementary show of related pastels and drawings, and is putting on a second exhibition of new portraits, the last of which, a portrait of Lucian Freud, was finished just three days before the opening.

These hasty, informal portraits of friends and family, in pencil with flashes of coloured wash, show Hockney at his most gifted. There are 56 of them, including nine self-portraits looking variously silly, fragile, angry and decrepit: fleeting studies made on a small scale in a couple of hours, but the result of deep scrutiny and a practised hand. It's a fascinating exhibition, not least for the famous faces such as Hockney's old friend Alan Bennett, Barry Humphries and Damien Hirst.

Annely Juda Gallery, 23 Dering St, London W1 (0171-629 7578) to 18 Sept

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