Springtime 3 – In praise of David Hockney’s exhibition “A bigger picture”

I have been floundering around this week trying to blog a few words about a cyclists’s feeling of spring. After going to the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy today I am blown away.

I loved much of it, but the highlight was 51 images shown in a single room as a single artwork. “The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011″ was made for this show and depicts a few scenes repeatedly created over the six months from January to June 2011. Extraordinarily vibrant colours, changes in mood and tone. Stunning, all done on an I-Pad in what must have been amazing bursts of energy.

Almost as exceptional was a room full of hawthorns. I was looking across the heads through to another room when a burst of white in the distance could only be the vibrancy of a hedgerow bursting in to spring life. As I wandered into the room it had differing flowering scenes on every wall. Hockney calls the week that the first buds appear Action Week, to emphasise that spring is the hardest time to capture as an artist because it changes so fast.

I wish I could claim that Hockney was a cyclist or a dog walker, but of course he isn’t. But this exhibition captured an essence of the English countryside that we can recognise vividly. Perhaps because he has captured the hedgerows and trackways that cycle tourists love so much, or because he has captured that feeling that every ride can be a new adventure, even it is on a road we have seen a hundred times before. Whatever it is if you can get to this show before it closes go.

None of the links I can give you really show this room to its full effect, but if you can’t go do look.

Royal Academy Blog

Art Finder Blog on WordPress

Treehugger web site article

2 thoughts on “Springtime 3 – In praise of David Hockney’s exhibition “A bigger picture”

  1. It is fab isn’t it? I was walking around going “I’ve cycled down that lane!” Now I’ll have to go back and get “the bigger picture” looking at it through Hockney’s eyes -especially now it’s spring (well it will be once the snow melts) I wish he’d get off the smoking thing though.


    • Yes – genius must have it’s flaws! I’ll live with the smoking for the art now I have seen this collection.

      Maybe not so much the California swimming pools of his earlier work.


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