After managing to get my hands on tickets for David Hockey RA – A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy I scampered off to London at the beginning of the month. While it’s fantastic that the Royal Academy released an extra allocation of tickets because of the popularity of the show (I wouldn’t have got any otherwise) the volume of people there was quite frankly ridiculous. Having said that I think that having tickets for later in the afternoon was an advantage because it meant that as the gallery emptied towards closing time we had the chance to nip back through the galleries and get a better view of some of the displays.
Each of the 13 galleries which made up the exhibition focused on different areas of work and by far my favourite was The Arrival of Spring. Having done my homework in the morning by watching The Art of Seeing, in which Andrew Marr discusses David Hockey's work and the exhibition, this was the gallery I was most looking forward to seeing. 51 iPad drawings from January – April 2011 displayed in chronological order along three walls. Walking around the room the paintings take you through the season from winter to spring finishing with a huge oil painting comprising 32 canvasses covering the end wall. The enlarged iPad drawings are displayed close together which adds to the impact and each one complements the next as the colours change through the season. Individually the images are beautiful and seem to retain the glow of the iPad screen, what is unusual about them is that close up there is no texture of brushstrokes in paint, they are flawless.
The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty-eleven)
© David Hockney
Oil on 32 Canvasses