[detail from a David Hockney iPad drawing]
i enjoyed a breakfast preview of the new David Hockney exhibition this morning. when the alarm went off and i looked out at the dark, wet, Winter weather, i was very tempted to hide under the covers and pretend that i wasn't a Hockney fan after all. but i'm so glad that i managed to haul myself out of bed and down to the Royal Academy in Piccadilly in time for coffee, trees and hawthorn.
what an astounding artist and man. i think that even if you are not a Hockney fan, you would still be completely blown away by this exhibition. the majority of the exhibition is made up of new work (created between 2004 and 2011), some of it specifically for the Royal Academy rooms, and the scale is just astounding.
although his vast oil paintings are definitely the ones that i would move out the Shoebox to accommodate (Hockney, if you're looking for a home for 'The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (Twenty Eleven)', then I'm your girl), the enlarged iPad drawings also had me completely intrigued. Hockney is now seventy-four and although it shouldn't surprise anyone, given that he has always embraced technology in the past, i'm still in awe at his ability to adopt and master such a new 'painting' technology.....to be honest, i hadn't even realised that iPad drawing existed. these works may not be as rich as the oils but they are still beautiful and distinctive in their pattern and colours.
we were given a tour by one of the Academy staff which is always great for getting real insight into the works but my favourite story that was shared is about Hockney himself. In the morning, he enjoys a cup of coffee and cigarette in bed and generally picks up his iPad, makes a sketch of whatever he sees and emails it to his friends. wouldn't you love to be on that mailing list....wake up to a Hockney every morning. it would make cold, wet, dark mornings like today that much easier to bear.
Royal Academy of Arts
21 January - 9 April 2012