David Hockney – A Closer Winter Tunnel, February–March (2006), Guggenheim Bilbao
British painter David Hockney has, over the course of his 50 year career, continually pushed the conceptions of landscape painting, exploring various approaches to form, color and composition that mirror his ongoing fascination with shifting technologies and cultural perception. Now, his work is being shown at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao as the second venue of a major exhibition of the Yorkshire native’s work, including a large collection of works done in his home town.
Hockney’s methods draw sharp contrasts along edges and focal points, creating marked differences in the depth and perception of the image. Combined with a bold, vibrant color palette, the paintings exhibited capture a striking otherworldliness while remaining recognizably bucolic. In other works, Hockney allows his landscapes to drift into a solidly abstract realm, leaving only a few recognizable forms like fences and curtains to keep the paintings mired in reality.
A Bigger Picture also exhibits a number of Hockney’s newer works for digital camera and iPad, adding a more holistic sense of focus to the presentation of his work, and underlining the artist’s tendency to embrace new technology. Applying these new tools to familiar subject matter, Hockney allows a fascinating look into the way media dictates an artist’s language, and vice versa.
Combining these pieces with a large selection of recent drawings, documents and photographs, A Bigger Picture offers just that: a broad sense of Hockney’s artistic approach, and an ever-expanding sense of the artist’s complex approach to creating his work.
David Hockney is represented by The Pace Gallery.
David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, Royal Academy of Arts, London, January 21–April 9, 2012. Currently on view at: Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, May 14–September 30, 2012; Travels to: Museum Ludwig, Cologne, October 27, 2012–February 4, 2013. (Catalogue)