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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 08:19 GMT 09:19 UK
Hockney landscapes make UK debut
Hockney has compared the Yorkshire landscape to the US

Artist David Hockney's new paintings of the East Yorkshire landscape will make their UK debut at a major exhibition at London's Tate Britain later this year.

The June exhibition will mark the UK artist's forthcoming 70th birthday, and will include five new paintings.

Hockney will also help curate the Tate's largest exhibition of Turner's watercolours, including The Blue Rigi.

Hockney grew up in West Yorkshire, but is more famous for his California-based works, such as A Bigger Splash.

Though based in Los Angeles, the artist has intermittently returned to the coastal town of Bridlington, East Yorkshire, to visit his family.

In recent years, he has become inspired by the local landscape, which he has compared to the wide vistas of the American west.

Some of his work from the area has been shown in the US, but this will be the first time the new paintings have been seen in the UK.

The watercolour is regarded among Turner's finest works

Hockney will provide his own commentary for the exhibition of JMW Turner's watercolours, which is also due to open in June.

"Turner is one of the masters of watercolour," said Hockney.

"I am thrilled to be working with Tate on this major exhibition, and to study in depth their extraordinary collection of Turner's watercolours."

The exhibition will feature 165 watercolours from throughout his career, which can only occasionally be exhibited for conservation reasons.

The Blue Rigi was saved from leaving the UK after the Tate launched a campaign, backed by artists including Hockney, to raise the 4.95m needed to buy it back for the nation.

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