“Time is elastic” David Hockney once said, and coming from him I am inclined to believe it. I have been looking at images online of the magnificent David Hockney show at Tate Brittain that is currently open until May 29th. After many decades of iconic work–Hockney is now almost 80–his work continues to evolve and surprise. While managing to defy aging, he continues to make amazing explorations into scale, space, texture, color & light. Disarmingly charming, Hockney has a wisdom in his art–and his speech–that seems at the same time simple and sublime. I read a lot of articles trying to get to know Hockney the man and was struck that Hockney the artist is all the story he needs–a visual biography more personal than could be described in words.

Winter Timber, 2009

Not having seen these works in person, I was struck by their scale–only realizing their size compared to people. Hockney is forever linked in my mind to his iconic pool paintings and Yorkshire landscapes, but he tells so many stories that I am fascinated by these monumental pieces and his stage designs.

Stage design for Turandot

In a completely different style, the stage design he did for The Rakes Progress in black and white sketching and crosshatching mesmerizes me; I want to see everything at once and have to zoom in and out on specific vignettes to see all the details.

A Model for A Rakes Progress

Tom’s Room from A Rake’s Progress onstage

Another set from Rake’s Progress

I don’t know why I was surprised to learn that Hockney has a series of ipad works as he has always worked with different mediums and technologies. The ipad works are really interesting, proving to me again that the quality of work is not determined by the medium but by the artist.

Ipad prints

It seems like a natural progression from his photographic collages in the ’80’s–creating one image using many photographs of the same scene from different points of view.

Place Furstenberg, Paris, 1985

David Hockney, Sun On The Pool, 1982

It is dizzying to explore the depth and breadth of Hockney’s work and not feel in awe of his prolificness, both he and his work seeming to defy time. Possibly it is the familiar in his work that I find so electric–a casual gaze registering the familiar before the details tell another story, never sure which vision I trust.

Garrowby Hill, 1998

On the Road to York Through Sledmere, 1997

I know the show at the Tate is closing before I will make it there to see it, and yet I promise myself to see this work in person. I content myself to enjoy the expansive body of work that he has created while eagerly waiting to see what  he will do next–sure in the knowlege I will be surprised and delighted again.

“It’s always now. It’s the now that’s eternal, actually.”   –David Hockney

 

 

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/david-hockney