The main reason for my trip to London a week and a few days ago was the retrospective exhibition of David Hockney in Tate Britain. Last year, around February, they announced this exhibition, I bought some traintickets a few months later. In April this year the day finally arrived that we had to pack our bags and hop on the train to London.
I already made a post about the first day, which you can read here. The second day we got up early to stand before a closed museumdoor (which opened a little hour later) so we would be certain of a visit to the exhibition. (Pro tip, which I didn’t do/forgot about/didn’t find the time for, buy your ticket in advance.) The last half hour before opening time a lot of people kept lining up behind us. Eventually the doors opened and everybody rushed in.
After a long wait we finally walked in the first room of the exhibition, it was packed with people. The room isn’t that big and since it was ten in the morning everyone entered at the same time. Next to the door hung the symbol of no photos. So alternatively I’ll be showing photos that I made of the catalogue. I only buy the catalogue of exhibitions that I really enjoyed and I want to read more about. This is one of the things that my money is spent on, next to exhibitions, public transport and food.
Hockney is without a doubt one of the most innovative artists out there. This exhibition really shows the changes in his art over time. Every room was dedicated to a time period in his oeuvre. The young Hockney wasn’t my cup of tea but as soon as he moved to the United States his work took a turn. In this room one of his most iconic works, Bigger Splash, was present. There was a certain abstractness in these realistic paintings. Whenever I saw these pieces in a book, I didn’t get to see their flaws. Don’t get me wrong, these flaws are things like a line that isn’t that straight and where he just slipped for a second, these flaws are what make them more, how can I put this, human/approachable.
The portraits, such as these below, overwhelmed me. I wasn’t expecting these to be so monumental. Every element in these paintings were so well placed.
The whole exhibition showed different mediums in which Hockney expresses his creativity. It shows paintings, pencil drawings, films and ipad drawings. The latter was put on display in the very last room. The fact that ipad drawings make it possible to be recorded is fascinating for those who like to see a process of a work. In this last room were several big screens present who show the whole process of the drawings. You were able to admire this virtuoso and leave the exhibition fulfilled.
I’d never seen any of his work in real life and I wasn’t that ‘obsessed’ with his work as I am now. I am so glad that I got to witness this exhibition and got to see his work up close. It really changed my perspective. I once read a book by Martin Gayford, A Bigger Message. Conversations with David Hockney, this was when I started to get interested in Hockney as a person and as an artist. But I never really followed up on that, so when the announcement of this exhibition came along I immediately got excited.
You get to chance to visit Tate Britain until 29th of May to see David Hockney his work.