Went to the MAC arts centre in Belfast today to catch the Hockney exhibition 'David Hockney - I draw, I do' which closes on the 16th October'16. If you still have a chance to go see it then do. Great range of work from 1950s to later times. The show has been curated in partnership with Jill Iredale, curator of Fine Art at Bradford Museums and Galleries.
There's also a gallery guide to accompany the show which is illustrated by Duncan Ross using images from Hockney's work superimposed upon one another. As the illustrations are line drawn together they make a cool colouring book. I couldn't resist.
What impressed me about the exhibition was the expanse of time reflected in his work. Beautiful paintings and line drawings from the mid 50s when Hockney attended Bradford School of Art. The gallery guide quotes a peer, painter David Oxtoby, from those days:
'I remember he did a painting once of the tram wires and the trees. He actually painted in between the branches with different colours, slightly different blues so that the branches would disappear and the difference between the blues carried the lines of the branch as it went through. I thought the way he handled the paint then was really amazing. He was constantly trying new things.'
I was fascinated by the early 60s print series 'A Rake's Progress' - a great sense of freestyle in his drawing and an almost collage look to the prints. I had also seen photographs of 'Le Plonger' from the pool series of work but to view it six inches form my face was to realise how it was much more than the 2d copy. This piece made from handmade paper almost rippled like the watercolour staining it.
The piece which I loved most was the final artwork on display before leaving the gallery. At first it looks like a scraggy tree growing from rocks until your gaze moves into the background and you become aware of the urban setting. A tree in a Yorkshire garden. Beautiful marks.
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