Friday, 13 January 2012

David Hockney – A bigger picture

David Hockney has a new exhibition title A bigger Picture at the Royal Academy in London.

The big pictures are made of multiple square canvasses painted on site by the artist. He did this first for his 2004 exhibition. The exhibition also features a few pictures from the sixties.



David Hockney is a special case in the art world: he is a representational painter in an era where conceptualism gets all the hypes. He is proud to paint all the works by himself. No assistant holding the brush… His painting is anchored in tradition. Like Constable, he goes outside to paint. Like Monet, he captures the seasons and comes back time and time again to the same spot in Yorkshire.

David Hockney is far from retrograde. He makes good use of technology:

  • for his large works composed of multiple canvasses, he uses a computer to see the whole picture as he could only get ten pieces at one time in his studio.
  • He has been painting on his iPad® for a long time;
  • He also put together a battery of nine cameras mounted on a car to capture a global view of the Yorkshire countryside. He got the idea from the way he built larger pictures using nine canvasses (three times three).
David Hockney gave some interviews around the show. In particular, he talked to Andrew Marr on BBC4 Radio. Here are a few good quotes from this interview:

“I am interested in depiction, meaning what does the world looks like, what we think it looks like.”


“An artist can support hedonism, but he can’t be a hedonist himself, because artists are workers – by definition they work.”


“Things look green when you are looking at them here but on a bigger scale, it is a calmer green isn’t it? It’s a herd colour to use a lot of. (…) Turner avoided greens. Abstract painters don’t use green, because it evoques landscape.”


Related resources

The page of the Royal Academy for David Hockney’s exhibition


David Hockney’s official website

Entry on David Hockney in Wikipedia

Start the Week with Andrew Marr on BBC4 Radio: David Hockney Special 26 December 2011.  Andrew Marr visited the artist David Hockney at his studio in Bridlington.


Books on and from David Hockney

If you are in the US (Amazon affiliate link)

A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney by Martin Gayford

Secret Knowledge (New and Expanded Edition): Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters by David Hockney

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture


If you are in the United Kingdom (Amazon affiliate link)


A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney by Martin Gayford


Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters by David Hockney


David Hockney: A Bigger Picture



1 comment:

offer waterman said...

He created a landmark in the British art world and recently gained a chance to be celebrated in a full exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art.
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