When my eldest daughter told me that she had bought tickets to the hottest art show in town for my Mother’s Day present I was blown away, I have been desperate to go but I’ve never been able to justify a day of indulgence away from the little ones, now I had the perfect excuse.
One of my greatest pleasures has to be pottering around a gallery, time melts away and I come away feeling inspired and itching to get back to my easel and paints. (I like to dabble, I am by no means an ‘artist’)
Hockney’s paintings enable me to view the world and the people in it in an inquiring way. He is a true master at observation, perspective and emotive imagery. I have always loved his work, the intensity of colour in some of his paintings is so rich and totally uplifting.
We began our day at Tate modern taking in the free stuff…
And, seeing as it was such a beautiful day I suggested that we got the boat along the river to Tate Britain. Sitting outside on the boat London looked majestic and glorious as it basked in the sunshine…
Tate Modern is an impressive space but for me it’s sister gallery is the most beautiful architecturally. I am always entranced when I come here not only by the impressive external facade but the interior … well, these pictures speak for themselves, I would just love a staircase like this!
And so to the much awaited exhibition itself; we collected our tickets and I decided to pick up the MP3 audio guide of the exhibition that was on offer. I would strongly recommend that if you do go to the exhibition that you do the same, it greatly enhances the experience and much of the narration is by the man himself, Hockney, it really does bring the pictures to life.
The exhibition takes you through Hockney’s work from his early days at art college in London, to when he moved to sunny California and painted all those glorious inviting swimming pools, the sunny terrace of his house, and the sun drenched landscapes including pictures of the Grand Canyon bathed in the rich red colours of the setting sun.
In the audio recording that accompanies the exhibition Hockney discusses how he works at capturing the movement of water in the swimming pool pictures and the curator of the exhibition describes his ability to study people and portray personality on the canvas; depicting love or tension in such an captivating way.
Also how Hockney uses perspective is intriguing, at times the viewer of the painting becomes the vanishing point cleverly distorting the objects within.
I find it so hard to single out my favourite paintings from the exhibition to show you but I suppose that if I had to I would include these iconic ones below, including the famous portrait of his parents painted in the 1960’s and a painting of his lover at the time, staring into a pool, watching him swim. The lover is present in the painting yet detached emotionally from the scene, staring at the distorted body in the water.
And I loved the room devoted to the moving photographic images of landscapes in the ever changing seasons, these images are a departure from the conventional ‘snapshot in time’ image that photography is ordinarily limited to. (Hockney returned to England from California at one stage having missed the changing seasons and landscapes of his native England)…
I wasn’t able to take pictures in the exhibition itself but I did manage to sneak in the ones above from a room devoted to Hockney’s interest in photography and the changing image. Sophie remarked that some of the photographic collage pictures made her feel as if she was there sharing the moment, you could almost hear the laughter in the room of the image below…
There is so much to digest in the exhibition, it comprises 13 rooms and covers work from the very beginnning of Hockney’s career right up to work completed only recently including pictures drawn on the iPhone and iPad. I was left feeling that I would love to visit again, to have an opportunity to really drink it all in as I was so overwhelmed.
But for now it was time for a cup of tea in the gallery cafe and a much needed sit down before hitting the Tate shop for some souvenirs of our visit. I think my cushion looks pretty good in situ!
If you have been to the exhibition or you would love to go, or, you have enjoyed my post I would love to hear from you, please feel free to comment below or on my Facebook page available here.
And further information regarding Hockney at the Tate can be found on the galleries website here.
Thank you so much for dropping by and enjoy your Sunday,