New Landscapes by David Hockney


I wanted to write a little something about one of my favorite artists, David Hockey, on the occasion of his first exhibition of new oil paintings in New York in 12 years at Pace Wildenstein Gallery.

Lot of people either love him or hate him. They find him too eccentric or too campy or too gay or too something. But you have to admire the pure visual beauty and virtuosity of his work and his prolific output. That he has had amazing success doesn’t hurt either.

The guy has pretty much used any and every media including photography, photo collage, fax drawings, full stage opera stage sets and recently paintings on his iphone among others. But this series of work returned him to oil painting and the landscapes of his youth in East Yorkshire, England.

There is just something brilliant about the freshness of these pieces. This might sound strange to say but I always feel happy when I look at this work. There is just something very life affirming about his work. Reminds me a lot of Mattise who spoke of his art being like “a good armchair”


Hockney began painting plain air in the English countryside back in 2005 – often producing 3-4 canvases a day and painting in all seasons. As Hockney explains, “It’s only having seen a tree’s inner structure, with its branches laid bare in winter,” Hockney explains, that one “learns to experience, and then to render, that tree’s subsequent summer fullness—and then vice versa.”

Hockney devised a intriguing method for painting large scale canvases outside that were impervious to rain, wind and other natural elements. He also did the landscape in multiple canvases which he then assembled and completed in his studio (you can see this with the image above – painting is in 4 panels)

I am always interested to see what Hockney’s up to particularly at the later stages of his career. You can check out some additional visuals of the paintings (which are scheduled to be up through end of December 2009) at Pace Wildenstein.

3 Responses for “New Landscapes by David Hockney”

  1. There is something eerily Van Goghesque in these works. Maybe a combo of Alex Katz and Van Gogh, which is sort of what Hockney is. He’s using some big honkin’ pints of oil paint there.

  2. I dont love or loathe Hockney,im not gay or camp,but some of his work is simply great painting,in spite of the weak ones-but that goes for any art form-inconsistancy.He,s painting in the 21st century now,so an artist with his level of poular sucess…well try and aviod the media,so he had to evolve his own persona,he,s clever.Van Gogh would have loved it.In fact,compared with most ‘artists’Hockney is very disciplined,a hard worker grounded,it seems to me,in common sense.

  3. doug says:

    Totally agree Chris! It just always seems fun to me. Just the joy of painting. When do you really see that nowadays? not much. Thanks for stopping by!
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