David Hockney, the great British master of drawing and painting, will revive all these arguments with his latest show 'The Arrival of Spring' at Annely Juda Fine Art, which shows his latest series of iPad drawings. That's right: iPad. While the rest of us use our tablet computers for recipes and Twitter, Hockney puts sketches on his in the open air (using an app called Brushes) creating inkjet prints from the resulting experiments.
But what can the endless dimensions of an iPad bring to painting? This current series of landscapes, depicting Woldgate, East Yorkshire, are interesting in that they maintain a certain graphic flatness in elements such as the trees and roadsigns. While perspectival techniques create pictorial depth, they somehow still follow the contours of the iPad screen. Also at the gallery is the film piece Woldgate Woods; shown across nine synchronized digital videos this will reveal an idyllic snowy landscape of the same region. The exhibition follows a huge show of Hockney's iPad works in the de Young Museum in California last winter, and once again affirms the blond, cigarette-loving Yorkshireman as a great innovator.
Hockney was always an early advocate of new picture-making media. During his long sojourn in California, Hockney captured instantaneous 'photographic' moments, such as the water created by a swimmer in his 1967 masterpiece A Bigger Splash. He began using a Xerox machine for a long while, followed by art made on fax machines, and for a several years he used a Polaroid camera, with which he made his famous ‘joiners’: collages of multiple photographs taken in one place and time, pieced together to gain new perspectives on a single scene. Photographic company Canon even used to send him new products just to see what he'd make of them.
Since his 2009 part-return to the UK (he now lives in London as well as Los Angeles) the frenetic pace of his output has gone up and this show reminds us that Hockney remains an artist on a quest. He's fascinated by the ways images are constructed and interpreted – experimenting with viewpoints, perspectives and peripheral vision – and the technology used to achieve these ends.
So enjoy the Woldgate series as both a set of pictures with a certain ethereal beauty, and as boundary-pushing artworks that invite questions. The Arrival of Spring draws our attention back to the idea of computer art: a part of art practice for nearly half a century now, yet one that has never quite found its place.
|What||David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Annely Juda|
|Where||Annely Juda Fine Art, 4th Floor, 23 Dering Street (Off New Bond Street), London, W1S 1AW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bond Street (underground)|
08 May 14 – 12 Jul 14, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information via Annely Juda Fine Art|