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pdf 1 - exhibitions international

DAVID

HOCKNEY

A Bigger

Picture

The Road Less Travelled Marco Livingstone

The Spirit of Place: A Certain Road to Happiness Margaret Drabble

David Hockney and the British Landscape Tradition Tim Barringer

David Hockney and Claude Lorrain: The Sermon on the Mount Xavier F. Salomon

David Hockney and New Technology Martin Gayford

Catalogue plates

1 Earlier Landscapes

2 First Yorkshire Landscapes

3 Watercolours and First Oils from Observation

4 Tunnels

5 Woldgate Wood

6 Hawthorn Blossom

7 Bigger Trees, Thixendale Trees

8 Winter Timber and Totems

9 A Bigger Message: After Claude Lorrain’s ‘The Sermon on the Mount’

10 The Arrival of Spring on Woldgate, 2011

11 Recent Oils of Woldgate

12 Sketchbooks and iPad Drawings

13 Films with 9 and 18 Cameras

David Hockney: A Chronology Edith Devaney

Endnotes | Selected Bibliography | List of Lenders to the Exhibition

Photographic Acknowledgements | Index

This sales blad contains uncorrected proofs of

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for the book itself is:

Trimmed page size: 30 x 28 cm

Clothbound and jacketed

304 pages with over 320 colour illustrations

ISBN 978-0-500-09366-5 £60.00

(price subject to change without notice)

181A High Holborn, London WC1V 7QX

www.thamesandhudson.com

DAVID HOCKNEY A Bigger Picture

DAVID

HOCKNEY

A Bigger

Picture


4 5

056

May Blossom on the Roman Road, 2009

Oil on eight canvases (each 91.5 × 122 cm), 182.9 × 487.7 cm

Collection David Hockney, Los Angeles

174 Hawthorn Blossom

175

113

A Bigger Message, 2010

Oil on thirty canvases (each 91.5 × 122 cm), 457.2 × 731.5 cm

Collection David Hockney, Los Angeles

224 A Bigger Message: After Claude Lorrain’s Sermon on the Mount

225

The Spirit of Place:

A Certain Road to Happiness

Margaret Drabble

David Hockney’s return to Yorkshire represents an extraordinarily

moving and cheering homecoming. We know that the places of our

childhood draw us back and that we return again and again to the

fields and woods and paths that made us who and what we are.

Many poets and painters and novelists, like swallows and pigeons,

have a homing instinct. The memory of place is built into our genetic

code. Artists and writers are identified with landscapes, landscapes

with artists and writers. But Hockney’s rediscovery of his natal

regions has a unique resonance, and his work of the past few years

is an exceptionally strange and vivid manifestation of the power of

the spirit of place. Maybe I feel this all the more strongly because

the landscapes to which he has returned are so numinous for me,

and belong to my own childhood. I too was Yorkshire-born.

‘Happy those early days! when I / Shin’d in my Angell-Infancy’,

wrote Welsh-born Henry Vaughan in his pre-Wordsworthian poem

‘The Retreate’ (1650). Vaughan wished to move ‘with backward

steps’ to a prelapsarian innocence, but there is no sense of a

retreat in Hockney’s unexpected returning. He has always been

an advancer, not a retreater, and now he is moving into territory at

once old and new, familiar and remade, as he draws on his iPad and

travels with his camera team through the Wolds and paints his large

canvases. His is an onward journey as well as a homeward journey,

a continuing exploration both of place and of technology.

British art has a long tradition of attachment to place, to

landscape and to topography. Swiss-born Henry Fuseli, Keeper

of the Royal Academy, spoke dismissively in 1802 (Lecture IV,

on ‘Invention’) of ‘the last branch of uninteresting subjects, that

kind of landscape which is entirely occupied with the tame

delineation of a given spot: an enumeration of hill and dale, clumps

of trees, shrubs, water, meadows, cottages and houses; what is

commonly called views … they are little more than topography.’

But, as Kenneth Clark commented in Landscape into Art (1949), this

assertion ‘must go into the category of famous last words, for they

were spoken when Constable was already a student at the Academy

and Wordsworth had published his Lyrical Ballads’. A seismic shift

of consciousness was even then in progress, a revolution in our way

of regarding our relationship with the natural world, and now we are

more inclined to agree with Constable’s formulation in one of his

last lectures in 1836 that ‘There has never been an age, however

rude and uncultivated, in which the love of landscape has not been

in some way manifested. And how could it be otherwise? for man

is the sole intellectual inhabitant of one vast natural landscape…’ 1

It was through the works of Wordsworth and Constable that our

modern sense of place was born. Both of them, like Hockney,

wandered far afield, but it is the early imagery of the Lakes and

of the Stour valley that most deeply coloured their vision.

Wordsworth returned to live in the Lake District and

eventually, although surrounded by family and friends and much

courted by visitors, he retreated into himself. In middle and old age

he came to mourn the intensity of the experiences of his childhood

and the loss of his poetic genius. His theme, increasingly, became

a theme of loss. In his greatest ode, ‘Intimations of Immortality

from Recollections of Early Childhood’ (1807), he lamented in

characteristically plain monosyllables that the things which he

had seen he now could see no more.

But there’s a Tree, of many one,

A single Field which I have looked upon,

Both of them speak of something that is gone…

There is no sense of mourning or loss in David Hockney’s

very active life in Bridlington. He revisits the world afresh every

day; every day is a new spring, a new creation. He looks with what

his fellow countryman, the poet and art historian Herbert Read of

Ryedale, called ‘the innocent eye’, and the places he knew as a boy

still possess for him the visionary gleam. He looks out of the window

in the morning and sees a new day and a new composition. The

trees and fields are there as they always were. ‘Where is it now, the

glory and the dream?’ asked the older Wordsworth of his younger

self. Hockney could reply: it is here, and now, and every morning.

Hockney has returned to the countryside he knew as a boy.

He was brought up in the working-class industrial city of Bradford,

but in the school holidays in the summers of 1952 and 1953 he used

to work stooking corn in the fields of the East Riding. This is still

prime agricultural land, still a lightly populated landscape, with small

unchanging villages, little traffic, and arching over all an immense

and spacious silence. Hockney comes, he says, from a line of farm

labourers, and he claims a sense of familiarity with the land, a sense

that pre-dates the Industrial Revolution. John Clare, the poet of

the unenclosed Midlands, would have understood it. Hockney now

lives in the house by the sea where his mother lived for just under

a decade at the end of her life, far from any city, and he paints and

captures in film the fields and woods and lanes. The primal places

have reclaimed him, and they give him a sense of renewal that

seems to be without nostalgia, without regret. He is a fortunate man.

We are all imprinted with memories of place, and those

memories have been fashioned and reinforced by books we have

read, by paintings and images that we have seen. Walter Scott

discovered Scotland, Wordsworth created the scenery of the Lakes,

Hardy more literally named and created Wessex. James Ward,

aided by Thomas Gray, emphasised for us the sublimity of Gordale

Scar, and Constable forever fixed Flatford Mill and the Hay Wain

as enduring images of rural England, reappearing in the age of

mechanical reproduction on innumerable biscuit tins and calendars

and Christmas cards.

But the history of our changing perceptions is more than

a history of changing tastes and fashions: it is part of a wider

narrative of an evolving interaction between place and artist, place

and poet. It is a two-way process, a reciprocity. Hockney himself

would be quick to point out that Scotland was there before Scott

invented it, but Scott did teach us to see it better, as Hockney

teaches us to see better the trees near Warter and Thixendale

and Woldgate. The Hockney paintings of the twenty-first century

have given us a new Hockney landscape, a startling contrast to

the sunlit landscapes that he left England to find.

I first saw the sea at Bridlington, where Hockney now lives,

and that stretch of the Yorkshire coastline is so charged with

memories that I return again and again, seeking a new intimation,

another revelation. Going back is not an act of repetition, it is

not travelling backward, because there is a perpetual sense

Figs MD1–MD6

Some photographs from Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de

Lima’s archive of DH out working in the landscape

near Bridlington.

of expectation, as though something new is about to happen.

(Wordsworth in The Prelude called it a sense of ‘something

evermore about to be’. 2 ) I was born at the outbreak of war in 1939,

and there were to be no seaside holidays until the war was over,

but as infants we were brought up on pre-war stories of the seaside,

with promises of sands and waves and breakwaters. I think for

my mother this was a promise of happiness to which she clung

through those hard war years. She built expectation into us. I longed

to see the sea, and when we at last arrived at the coast, I was not

disappointed. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and grandeur

of the bay of Bridlington. At the age of six I was not versed in

Romantic poetry or painting but I was predisposed towards

Romanticism, as the children of industrial Yorkshire tend to be.

(J. B. Priestley, another famous and well-travelled son of Bradford,

claimed that all Bradfordians are Wordsworthians at heart.)

As a child, I did not know that Anne and Charlotte Brontë

had also loved that stretch of Yorkshire coast, where they too

first saw the sea. For them it was a place of a profound and

ultimately tragic significance. Now, revisiting the neighbourhood,

the knowledge of their knowledge colours mine. In her 1847 novel

Agnes Grey Anne had written lyrically of Scarborough, then a busy

and fashionable resort some twenty miles north of Bridlington, and

two years later, mortally ill with pulmonary tuberculosis, she had a

longing to see once more the town where she had so briefly been

happy. She and Charlotte and their friend Ellen Nussey set off,

hoping against hope that a change of air would do her good, but

only days after their arrival she died, on 28 May 1849, and there

she is buried. She was twenty-nine years old. Charlotte, the last

38 The Spirit of Place: A Certain Road to Happiness

39

029

Three Trees near Thixendale, Summer, 2007

Oil on eight canvases (each 91.5 × 122 cm), 184 × 488 cm

Reinhold Würth Collection, Kunzelsau

178 Bigger Trees, Thixendale Trees

179

22 April

23 April, No. 1 23 April, No. 2 25 April

26 April

238

27 April 28 April 30 April

239

The Arrival of Spring on Woldgate, 2011

021

The Road across the Wolds, 1997

Oil on canvas, 121.9 × 152.4 cm

Private collection

94 First Yorkshire Landscapes

95

095

Autumn Thixendale, 19 October 2008

Charcoal on paper, 66.5 × 102 cm

Collection David Hockney, Los Angeles

170 (above)

Sketchbook: Warter Landscapes, March 2006

Pencil, crayon and felt marker, 000 x 000 cm

David Hockney Foundation, Los Angeles

172 (below)

Sketchbook: Thixendale Trees, 2007

Pencil and crayon, 000 x 000 cm

David Hockney Foundation, Los Angeles

023

Garrowby Hill, 1998

Oil on canvas, 152.4 × 193 cm

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

118 (above)

Autumn Trees near Thixendale, 28 October 2008

Inkjet-printed computer drawing on paper, 88.9 × 213.3 cm

Collection David Hockney, Los Angeles

188 Bigger Trees, Thixendale Trees

189

171 (above)

Warter Trees, 2008

Charcoal, 000 x 000 cm

David Hockney Foundation, Los Angeles

096 (below)

Autumn Thixendale, 28 October 2008

Charcoal and inkjet on paper, 43 × 112.5 cm

Collection David Hockney, Los Angeles

173 (below)

Sketchbook: April–May 2008

Crayon and charcoal, 000 x 000 cm

David Hockney Foundation, Los Angeles

262 Sketchbooks and Ipad Drawings

263

067

Double East Yorkshire, 1998

Oil on two canvases (each 000 × 000 cm), 152 × 387 cm

Private collection

96 First Yorkshire Landscapes

97

047

The Second Totem Tree, 2008

Oil on canvas, 152.5 × 122 cm

Collection David Hockney, Los Angeles

048

Totem Tree, 2008

Oil on canvas, 152.5 × 122 cm

Private collection

196 Winter Timber and Totems

197

276 Films with 9 and 18 Cameras

277

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