I liked David Hockney’s early portraits but his latest landscapes are quite a surprise if you haven’t yet discovered them. They remind me of a modern Matisse who might have used a lot of dioxazine purple to offset his phthalo greens and cadmium oranges. The liveliness of Hockney’s eye and hand are much evident and his intense colors are vibrantly flat like the rest of his work. And it’s fun to watch his crusty antics, smoking non-stop in the film clips by Bruno Wollheim.
The New York Times ran a piece today with an excerpt from Wollheim’s film, on his plein air work; something he hadn’t really done much until his later years. I especially liked what he said about photography and painting, that the camera can’t: ‘get the beauty of this, it just can’t get the thrilling space I’m in. We’ve got to the point where we think the camera can photograph anything at all. But it can’t really, it can’t compete with painting at all….The paintings are much more vivid than the photographs are’.
Now 70, Hockney is out in the rolling green hills of the English landscape, carrying on a long tradition and making Turner proud.
His current exhibition is at PaceWildenstein in NYC from Oct. 24-Dec. 24th, 2009.
Bruno Wollheim’s film clips here.
An exhibit of Hockney’s East Yorkshire Landscape at L.A. Louver gallery, 2007:
Lawrence Weschler wrote an article in the New York Review of Books on Hockney’s iPhone paintings that you can view here.
And for the Tate Museum’s 2007-2008 exhibit, ‘Hockney on Turner Watercolours’, Hockney chose 150 of Turner’s watercolors. He talks here about how exciting it was to choose the works and shows some of his own large paintings that were on display at both the Tate and the Royal Academy.