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David Hockney: A Bigger Picture - RA

David Hockney, The Road Across the Wolds, 1997. Oil on canvas, 121 x 152 cm. Private Collection. Copyright David Hockney. Photo credit: Steve Oliver.

Exhibition preview

THE ROYAL Academy of Arts is presenting the first major exhibition in the UK to showcase David Hockney’s landscape work.

Entitled David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, it will be on display in the Main Galleries from January 21 to April 9, 2012.

Vivid paintings inspired by Yorkshire landscape, many large in scale and created specifically for thre exhibition, will be shown alongside related drawings and films.

Through a selection of works spanning fifty years, this new body of work will be placed in the context of Hockney’s extended exploration of and fascination with landscape.

Highlights will include three groups of new work made since 2005, when Hockney returned to live in Bridlington, showing an intense observation of his surroundings in a variety of media.

The exhibition will reveal the artist’s emotional engagement with the landscape he knew in his youth, as he examines on a daily basis the changes in the seasons, the cycle of growth and variations in light conditions.

The exhibition will take the visitor on a journey through Hockney’s world.

The exhibition will address the various approaches that David Hockney has taken towards the depiction of landscape throughout his career. Past works from national and international collections will include Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians, 1965 (Acrylic on Canvas), Garrowby Hill, 1998 (Oil on Canvas) and the ambitious (Oil on 60 Canvases) A Closer Grand Canyon, 1998.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture will also highlight the artist’s vast knowledge and research of the old masters and their techniques.

Hockney’s involvement with the depiction of space is traced in this exhibition from the 1960s, through his photocollages of the 1980s and the Grand Canyon paintings of the late 1990s, to the recent paintings of East Yorkshire, many of which have been made en plein air.

He has always embraced new technologies; recently he has used the iPhone and iPad as tools for making art. A number of iPad drawings and a series of new films produced using eighteen cameras will be displayed on multiple screens, providing a spellbinding visual experience.

Born in Bradford in 1937, David Hockney attended Bradford School of Art before studying at the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962. His stellar reputation was established while he was still a student; his work was featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries, which heralded the birth of British Pop Art.

He visited Los Angeles in the early 1960s and settled there soon after. He is closely associated with southern California and has produced a large body of work there over many decades. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1991.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne. The exhibition has been curated by the independent curator Marco Livingstone and Edith Devaney, the Royal Academy of Arts.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. A number of essays, including an introduction by Marco Livingstone will explore the artist’s engagement with landscape painting in the context of Hockney’s illustrious career.

Writers as notable as Margaret Drabble, Tim Barringer, Martin Gayford, Xavier Salomon and David Hockney himself address the artist’s place in the landscape tradition, his recent video works and his delight in new technologies.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture Gallery

Admission: £14 full price; £13 registered disabled and 60+ years; £9 NUS/ISIC cardholders; £4 12-18 years and Income Support; £3 8-11 years; 7 and under plus RA Friends go free.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.30pm), Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Building the Revolution: Art and Architecture in Russia 1915-1935 continues at the Royal Academy of Arts (Sackler Wing) until January 22, 2012.