Hockney A Bigger Picture
Royal Academy London 21st Jan -9th April 2012
To see some of the work and hear Hockney speak about it click here
To read an excellent and comprehensive review by Katherine Tyrrell on Making A Mark click here
There are just 2 days to go before this exhibition closes and moves to the Guggenheim, Bilbao where it will be on show from May 15th-Sept 30th. It has been well attended with queues for tickets lasting 4-5 hours and opening hours extended till midnight.
I went last month and spent a lively 35 minutes in the queue. There was a sense of anticipation and interesting snippets of conversation to tune into. People were discussing a recent TV documentary about the artist and his work. what an amazing opportunity to be on the threshold of a blockbuster of an exhibition of work by a living artist.
I took these photos while in the queue.
Passing through the arch and up the stairs into the first gallery space was like entering another world, stepping from the urban streets into a leafy Narnia like environment. In this space are 4 huge multi canvas paintings of the same view ' Three Trees at Thixendale' each at a different season. Moving through the exhibition this sense of the passage of time is evident at many levels. After all much of the work was done on location at many different times of day and through the seasons, sometimes starting work as early as 4 am.
The are several sequences of paintings.
The Arrival of Spring at Woldgate is written above a huge multi canvas oil while the other 3 walls of this large gallery show a sequence of about 51 large works. Each has a date next to it.
Such a large group made possible by the creative use of an ipad. People looked with a puzzled curiosity as the 'penny dropped' for some.
In the next room was the fascinating multiscreen film and beyond a room with sketchbooks and a collection of pictures on a sequence of ipads.
'Everything begins with the sketchbooks' David Hockney
Whether with traditional paint or use of an ipad it is clear that Hockney's intention is that the eye, the hand and the heart are working together.
This is not a retrospective exhibition. Much more amazing is that most of the work was done in the last 4 years specially for this exhibition and a considerable amount is from the previous 12 months.
A Bigger Picture (hardback) is available from Amazon
A Yorkshire Sketchbook here