Wednesday, 28 March 2012

David Hockney at the Royal Academy


This imposing archway is the entrance to Burlington House, on Piccadilly in London, which houses several august artistic and scientific societies including the Royal Academy of Arts.  My main reason for visiting last week was to see the exhibition, 'A Bigger Picture' by David Hockney RA - who, of course, as 'a local lad' is much loved by us here in Saltaire.  (Salts Mill is proud to hold a large collection of his work.  Hockney was a close friend of the late Jonathan Silver, the entrepreneur who 'rescued' the mill.)

I was so excited to see this major exhibition of Hockney's landscape work, much of which has been created in the last few years especially for this show. The paintings, many of them large-scale and wonderfully colourful, were inspired by the Yorkshire Wolds, where Hockney now lives.  In fact, if it wasn't for Jonathan Silver they might never have been created.  It's said that David Hockney came back to Yorkshire from California to support his friend when he was dying from cancer, and began to notice and be inspired again by the Yorkshire landscape.

I treated myself to the exhibition catalogue and
thereby received a plastic bag to flash around too!
There have been many features and TV programmes about the exhibition.  Some of the critics seemed pretty underwhelmed (they often are!) - but I loved the works, especially the amazing series of 51 prints (made from drawings on an iPad) and one large painting recording the arrival of spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire.  In the majestic setting of the RA's huge main gallery, the pictures have a vibrancy and impact that I found really thrilling.  It seems brilliant to me that a man in his mid 70s should be using modern technology so skilfully to create such vivid scenes, bursting with life and beauty.  There were also some video works that I found equally enthralling, taken with nine cameras on a grid.  My reaction was more akin to this writer's (in a Yorkshire paper of course!)

I'm so glad I was able to see the exhibition, despite the crowds (I'd have enjoyed it even more with fewer people to contend with).  When it is broken up in a few weeks time, I dare to hope that some of the works will find their way to Salts Mill, either permanently or temporarily.  Who knows?

14 comments:

  1. I desperately wanted to make the trip for this exhibition, but...

    There has been a lot of coverage, which I've soaked up, whenever possible. But nothing like seeing the real thing. Glad it was everything you hoped it would be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was well worth it. I think it should have been on for longer really.

      Delete
  2. I'd love to see it but I can't handle the people. I knew it would be busy. Glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankfully we had pre-booked tickets so we didn't have to queue but even so...

      Delete
  3. I've seem some Hockneys in person here and there. I like them very much. But I've sworn off these blockbuster shows. I've seem images of a large piece in the Tate Modern that I'd like to see in person.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent black and white photo! Or is it colour?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Because I only bought a fridge magnet, I wasn't treated to a carrier bag :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is so cool the pop of color you have in an otherwise b&w image! ~Lili

    ReplyDelete
  7. From seeing many of your photos here, I admire your exemplary artistic sensibilities. But, we part company on the subject of David Hockney. That is OK. You probably aren't excited about many things I think are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jack, to be honest I wouldn't hang one of his works on my wall (even if I could afford one!) as they're not my kind of thing in that way. But I am fascinated by the way he works and thinks.

      Delete
  8. So glad to hear about the David Hockney Exhibition. I wondered if you knew him because I know you live near where he grew up and where his gallery is, I think. There is a story as to how I stumbled across David Hockney. I think I might do a blog on it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Replies
    1. Posted my story about David Hockney this evening. Put a link through to your blog too.

      Delete
  10. Hi Jenny .. great post - I'd have loved to get to London to see the exhibition .. but not a possibility .. and as you say amazing works - and wonderful he came home as such .. funny how life takes us ..

    As you say these special exhibitions are always crowded and hot, even with pre-booked tickets .. but you too picked up on his workings and thought processes - I enjoyed the programmes on that.

    I'm off to see Chris' post on him too ... Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete

No WV here but I've enabled comment moderation on older posts so I don't miss any of your messages. I love reading them - thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog.