‘David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts’ at Towngate

WHEELING — Widely considered Britain’s most popular artist, David Hockney is a global sensation with exhibitions in London, New York, Paris and beyond attracting millions of visitors worldwide. The documentary film in theExhibition on Screen series allows up-close access to this 21st-century master and his two blockbuster exhibitions held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

It will be shown today through Sunday at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre.

Featuring intimate and in-depth interviews with Hockney the film offers rare insights into the man behind such iconic works as “A Bigger Splash” and “A Closer Grand Canyon.” In conversation with Tim Marlow (artistic director at the Royal Academy of Arts), Hockney reveals anecdotes from across his artistic and personal life — from his first trip abroad to Egypt in 1963, to the effects of the death of his close friend Jonathan Silver in 1997, right up to today.

The film also provides a rare chance to explore two of Hockney’s landmark exhibitions from his late career, guided by the exhibitions’ curatorial team and the artist himself. A Royal Academician since 1991, Hockney has a close relationship with the institution, creating both exhibitions specifically for the gallery spaces and thus making them entirely unique shows.

For “A Bigger Picture” Hockney returned to his native Yorkshire. This return to home was cathartic for Hockney and saw him capture the changing landscape through the seasons, using new techniques, not least iPad drawings and video. Four years later for “82 Portraits and One Still Life,” Hockney also adopted a new mode of working, inviting sitters to his studio with a strict deadline of three days for each portrait. The 82 finished paintings are themselves one complete work.

The film features expert insights from art critics Martin Gayford and Jonathan Jones, and Edith Devaney (senior contemporary curator at the Royal Academy of Arts) who twice sat for Hockney to paint.

“David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts” will be shown at 7 p.m. today, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets for all screenings can be purchased at the door. The box office opens one hour prior to each screening. You can purchase beer, wine, soda, water, popcorn and candy at all Towngate movies.

Working with top international museums and galleries, Exhibition on Screen creates films which offer a cinematic immersion into the world’s best loved art, accompanied by insights from the world’s leading historians and arts critics. Since launching in 2011, Exhibition on Screen has released 17 films which have been shown in more than 50 countries worldwide.

A church-turned-theater, Towngate is located in Wheeling’s historic Centre Market District and is part of the nonprofit Oglebay Institute. Towngate offers entertainment almost every weekend.

For more information on Towngate Theatre, visit www.oionline.com or call 304-242-7700.

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