Hockney Donates 40-Footer to Tate

Enormous work would have fetched millions on open market
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 8:20 AM CDT
British artist David Hockney poses as he unveils his painting 'Bigger Trees Near Warter', the largest painting ever shown at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, London, Friday, May 25, 2007.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – David Hockney has donated his largest-ever painting to London's Tate museum rather than sell it for a presumed price of several million dollars, reports the Times of London. Hockney, one of the world's foremost figurative painters, said donating the 40-foot-long Bigger Trees Near Warter was a "duty," and added, "You've got to be reasonably generous to be an artist."

The British painter, who has lived in Los Angeles for nearly 30 years, praised the American system of offering tax breaks to artists who donate work to public collections and encouraged the British government to do the same. Bigger Trees Near Warter, displayed last year at London's Royal Academy, was painted on 50 separate canvases with the help of digital technology.