Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Monday, April 09, 2012

A Visual Feast!

Stepping into the spacious galleries of the Royal Academy my breath was taken away. I was so overcome with the sheer vivacity and scale of what I saw that I had to blink away tears.

I'm talking about the exhibition David Hockney "A Bigger Picture," which ends today. J and I went on Saturday, our slot at 9am (very good slot to have ---- it gets progressively busier as more people linger and more arrive).

In the paintbrushes and ipad of Hockney, East Yorkshire becomes as colourful as Van Gogh's recollections of Arles.

We start with four massive paintings showing the same group of trees, each painting showing a different season.

This is the theme of the exhibition. Hockney is fascinated by the changes that the seasons make. It's clear from the output that he was a man possessed, waking early if weather conditions were right to take his easel into the countryside.

His virtuosity is in no doubt. Turning a corner into another gallery, we are confronted with a wall of 36 watercolours. There are exquisite charcoal sketches. And vast, vast canvases made of pictures stitched together by trickery with an ipad. He may be in his mid 70s but Hockney has consistently been an early adopter of technology, experimenting to create art.

J was very taken with a 20 minute video that showed the output of nine cameras that had been set up to record the same stretches of woodland throughout the year.

I loved the gallery devoted to the Arrival of Spring in East Yorkshire in 2011, including the explosion of hawthorn blossom for just a week in early May. Hockney calls it his "Action Week" when the blossom springs forth. "If this were Japan at a time like that, there would be thousands of cars driving around to take it all in: here we are lucky, we have it to ourselves," he says.

It's very special when art has an emotional connection with you. I felt this very deeply and how I wish I could afford some of these wonderful pictures!


1 comment

Bill Blunt said...

Oh, a shame this has ended - your account had me ready to book my train tickets!

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