Since I've been a girl I always have to stop and look at "Garrowby Hill, 1998" when I go to the MFA in Boston.
The colors, the movement and the visible yet controlled hand of the artist has always drawn me in. Hockney of course is also a well known portrait artist and if I had the right connections and unlimited funds I would commission a portrait for all of my family members. We could all be frozen under Hockney's colorful gaze and unearth a smirk, sly smile or unending stare.
Knowing all of this when I saw that the National Gallery Victoria was hosting a solo exhibition of Hockney it was immediately on my list of an outing to do solo. A couple of days ago Matt had the afternoon free and the sun was shining so off I went. Let me tell you the exhibition did not disappoint. The colors were of course stunning and way the show was installed and drew you in and out of corridors and made my curatorial heart go pitter patter.
Perhaps the most surprising and fascinating aspect of the show was the manner in which most of his landscapes were created. They were "painted" on a iPad. Can you stand it!? An iPad. Here is an artist, aged 79 showing up and creating magnificent landscapes with the touch of a stylus pen. There were even a few time lapse videos in the gallery so you could watch the landscape unfold in front of your eyes. The layering and dots suddenly become for example, a very recognizable painting of Yosemite's El Capitan.
Of course, as I mentioned before Hockney's wheelhouse is portraiture and this exhibition does not disappoint with 82 portraits & 1 still life a collection, an oeuvre of portraits all painted between 2013-2016 and each subject sitting only for three days. The scope is astounding and the continuity is enviable.
This show left me with an impression which I have not experienced in awhile. The colors, the whimsy and beautiful candor which Hockney sprinkles throughout his work got my wheels turning. It left me with a sense of wonder and magic. I felt transported. And isn't that a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.