Exhibition of the week: David Hockney: Early Reflections, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool


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The Independent Culture

Exploring the first decade and a half of Hockney's emerging maturity, the Walker's exhibition shows how he began to discover the kind of painter he wanted to be.

These works are the products of a talent trying to break through to something authentic. Hockney tries to paint the figure, but it is a figure partly disguised – and partly explained – by words added to the canvas. The figures are wild things, self-consciously absurd.

The paintings are madly contested spaces. In part, the heady feel of the work is to do with Hockney striving to be a propagandist about his sexuality. This is a show about the fascination of struggle.

0151 478 4199; to 16 March