The J. Paul Getty Museum

Pearblossom Hwy., 11 - 18th April 1986, #2

Object Details


Pearblossom Hwy., 11 - 18th April 1986, #2


David Hockney (British, born 1937)




California, United States (Place Created)


April 11-18, 1986


Chromogenic print

Object Number:



181.6 × 271.8 cm (71 1/2 × 107 in.)


© 1986 David Hockney

See more

See less

Object Description

'Pearblossom Highway' shows a crossroads in a very wide open space, which you only get a sense of in the western United States. . . . [The] picture was not just about a crossroads, but about us driving around. I'd had three days of driving and being the passenger. The driver and the passenger see the road in different ways. When you drive you read all the road signs, but when you're the passenger, you don't, you can decide to look where you want. And the picture dealt with that: on the right-hand side of the road it's as if you're the driver, reading traffic signs to tell you what to do and so on, and on the left-hand side it's as if you're a passenger going along the road more slowly, looking all around. So the picture is about driving without the car being in it.

Thus David Hockney described the circumstances leading to the creation of this photocollage of the scenic Pearblossom Highway north of Los Angeles. His detailed collage reveals the more mundane observations of a road trip. The littered cans and bottles and the meandering line where the pavement ends and the sand begins point to the interruption of the desert landscape by the roads cutting through it and the imprint of careless travelers.

- 1997

David Hockney Los Angeles, CA, US, British, born 1937

Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998
Ten Years In Focus: The Artist and the Camera (March 18 to August 10, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 18 to August 10, 2008
Happy Birthday, Mr. Hockney: Photographs (July 18 to November 26, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 18 to November 26, 2017

Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photography, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum), fig. 4.

Sykes, Christopher Simon. Hockney: The Biography, volume 2 : 1975-2012 (London: Century Random House, 2014), section 3 illustration.

Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource




In Depth: Pearblossom Highway

Lesson in which students compare images of a highway, write compositions, and use one-point perspective in landscapes.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Two-Part Lesson