June 13, 2021

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy 2020 review – pixels at dawn | David Hockney

Springtime with Hockney – what a glorious prospect! Just think of all those darling buds and greening hedgerows, dew on fresh grass, cherry blossom bursting into pink and white froth beneath brilliant blue skies: an ideal antidote to the winter’s lockdown. The subject matter of the artist’s new show is as simple as a child’s primer, and ought to spell out unqualified joy. But something stymies the pleasure of these images: namely, the method of their making.

In late 2019, at the age of 82, David Hockney moved to a timbered house in rural Normandy to observe the arrival of spring. He had already depicted the season’s wild beauty in his native Yorkshire with the magnificent charcoal drawings of 2014. Now he uses an iPad and stylus to make daily paintings of his French surroundings. The compositions are basic and stock: central tree, low horizon, distant hill, big bright sky;…

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