David Hockney Landscapes

Someone just told me about a gorgeous new book on David Hockney, and I wish I could remember who, but thank you so much, whoever you were… and presumably still are… I’ve raced ’round the corner to Archivia Books to fetch it. Actually a catalog of the just-closed exhibit at the Royal Academy in London, this hefty volume of classic colorful Hockney paintings and drawings is absolutely, positively sublime.

David Hockney - A Bigger Picture
The cover of David Hockney - A Bigger Picture, published by Abrams, New York

Hockney is perhaps most recognized for his deceptively simple paintings of California swimming pools. He doubtless rolls his eyes at that because his depth extends, dare I say, far beyond any swimming pool. And while the book does include some of Hockney’s California scenes, it moreover “redefines him as an important painter of the English countryside,” as the book jacket says, presenting dozens of recent works never before shown.
David Hockney landscape
''From Woldgate Lane to Burton Agnes,'' 2007, by David Hockney

The Academy approached Hockney several years ago about an exhibit celebrating his native landscape as a lead project of the Cultural Olympiad 2012. Normally exhibits of this scope are “retrospectives,” but this show (and catalog) are almost all new works and all the more exciting for it. Hear Hockney himself discuss the exhibit in a video on the Royal Academy’s website.
David Hockney landscape
From the series, ''The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty-eleven)''

At 300+ pages and $95, it isn’t just a coffee table book; it’s a coffee table period, but one you will enjoy immensely. Essays by Tim Barringer, Edith Devaney, Margaret Drabble, Martin Gayford, Marco Livingstone, Xavier Salomon and Hockney himself explore the artist’s work and how it has evolved with technology including video, multiple and complicated camera work, and the little ol’ iPhone and iPad. V cool. All in the book. Sketches, too, which I love.
David Hockney landscape sketch
A page from David Hockney's sketchbook. I'm always partial to sketches.

If you missed the London exhibit that ended last week, it will re-open at the Guggenheim Bilbao on May 14, to run through the end of September. If I can fit Spain into my summer travel plans, by jingo, I will. Then on to the Museum Ludwig in Cologne from 29 October to February 4, 2013. But meanwhile, you don’t have to stand in line for the book, or buy a ticket to visit David Hockney’s website, which is wonderful. What a great way to spend a Sunday.


    1. You are welcome, Traci, and thank you. And by the way, dear readers, Traci has a wonderful blog – go to it, her address above.

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