Hockney is top of my list of exhibitions
THERE are so many 'must see' art exhibitions in London, Eastbourne, Margate, Hastings as well as local shows, but top of my list for March was the 'David Hockney: A Bigger Picture' at the Royal Academy.
Hockney and I are the same age; he was a student at Bradford Art School while I was doing the same at Bromley Art School; he went to the Royal College in the 1960s and I started a new life in Ghana; he was living in Los Angeles when I took up residence in that city. Hockney with his unique talent, dedication and commitment went on to deserved fame and fortune.
I was excited at the prospect of seeing his latest work, even though I was aware that the exhibition was fully booked and that I would have to queue. It was a small price to pay for the experience of being immersed in Hockney's vision of the Yorkshire landscape. With style and confidence, he turned nature's colours into his own with an invasion of viridian green vying with magenta, orange and manganese blue.
It is reassuring in this age of conceptual and installation work that Hockney is still moved by the visual world.
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As well as painting in oils from memory, he actually set up his easel and painted in situ. The pieces were ultimately slotted together in a grid, thus creating monumental artworks.
He believes that everything starts with the sketchbook so it was enlightening to see his watercolours and charcoal drawings. And then there were the wonderful prints taken from his iPad work. Hockney said that he can work rapidly using the stylus with all the colours to hand. He loves the immediacy of the iPad; it's another version of the sketch book and one that he has mastered.
The Chinese say that the artist needs the hand, the eye and the heart. I think David Hockney has got IT.