Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Arrival of Spring - David Hockney's latest exhibition

Something like 85% of digital drawings in The Arrival of Spring sold before David Hockney's new exhibition opens tomorrow at Annely Juda Fine Art.  However the stars of the exhibition are a new set of charcoal drawings completed in Spring 2013 - and they're not yet for sale.  I imagine when the time comes they'll either be donated to a major art gallery or museum or they will be sold as a complete set - and if that ever happens it will take somebody with very deep pockets.

"Woldgate, The Arrival of Spring in 2013" - 4 of the five series of five drawingscharcoal drawings

"The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011"

The 20 colour prints in "The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011" were drawn on Hockney's iPad and were part of the set of some 50 works shown at the Royal Academy of Arts in his blockbuster show in 2012.  They were all drawn knowing that at some point they would become large prints.  In this show a few of them have become very large prints!  There's one new print in the show

The colour prints are now being marketed for the very first time which perhaps explains the very keen interest despite the fact that the prices of these small limited edition prints are eye-watering.

"The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011" by David Hockney
(Left to right) 1 January 2011, 4 January 2011 and 18 December 2011
The print on the right is a new one which was not included in the RA show and records winter rain
"The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011" by David Hockney
(Left to right) 18 March 2011, 25 April 2011, 1 April 2011, 18 January 2011 and 23 February 2011
139.7 cm x 105.4cm

"Woldgate, The Arrival of Spring in 2013"

"The Chinese say black and white contains colour, and so it can"
David Hockney
On the third floor are six series of charcoal drawings, all drawn on an entire sheet of Arches Aquarelles with the impressed makers name always bottom right - plus a video. These comprise
  • 5 series of drawings - each series containing five drawings - all done between January and May 2013
  • a series of drawings titled "Vandalised Totem".  which had been first vandalised and then cut down - made in November 2012, following a minor stroke
  • a video made in winter 2010 of the road along Woldgate in heavy snow. 
Vandalized Totem by David Hockney
charcoal drawings 57.5cm x 78.8cm
signed and numbered
November - December 2012

He was making these drawings having recently suffered a minor stroke. The first drawing in November 2012 took two days but after that he says he found he concentrated more - and for the next six months he did nothing but draw in charcoal.

To me they're more sophisticated than the ones I saw at the RA - and I was very impressed by those!(see Review: David Hockney RA - A Bigger Picture - Making a Mark and Hockney is bigger than Van Gogh! - I visited the exhibition four times!)
One knockout aspect for me was the charcoal drawings - which were simply stunning. I never ever tired of looking at these - but only appreciated the relevance of him drawing trees and wood in charcoal on my last visit.
Gregory who runs the business end of Hockney back in Los Angeles said he felt that the drawings were different from the ones before.  To my mind, one very obvious reason they look different is because they're a considered series of five drawings of a place he now knows very well indeed.  Walking into the third floor space, one is immediately made aware of the impact of charcoal drawings when done as a series of drawings of the same space over a period of time. The drawings also remind you very much of the subtlety that charcoal has in the hands of somebody who knows how to use it.

Woldgate - from the Arrival of Spring in 2013 by David Hockney
(left to right, top then bottom) 6-7 February, 6 May, 12-13 May, 20-21 May, 27 May
I personally found that they kept reminding me of Van Gogh's reed pen drawings of the countryside and trees in Provence.  Hockney uses the same variety of in notations and mark-making used for trees and leaves and grass which felt very familiar and comfortable. (I'm a huge fan of Van Gogh's drawings - if you'd like to find out more about his drawings you can download the catalogue of the exhibition of Van Gogh's drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on their publications website - for free)

I definitely recommend this exhibition to anybody who is a fan of Hockney, a fan of landscape drawings, a fan of digital art or charcoal drawings - and if you're all of these, as I am now, you'll have a truly wonderful experience!

Plus the video of Woldgate continues to mesmerise - just as it did at the RA!

One of the nine screens displaying the journey along the snow road of Woldgate in 2010.
You can play 'spot the totem' as it used to be!

The catalogue is also excellent - very good reproduction and well presented.

The exhibition continues until 12 July and can be seen at Annely Juda Fine Art, 4th Floor, 23 Dering StreetLondon W1S 1AW.


  1. Oh thank you Katherine, as always - this looks amazing - you are so on top of things. What a treat to see the images of these beautiful charcoal drawings and the new huge winter rain ipad painting.
    Thank you!

  2. It looks like a fabulous show. Hockney has always been a favorite. Thanks

    Offer Waterman & Co.

  3. It is definitely impossible to forget about David Hockney, a renowned Artist from British, known for his great work that include colorful painting of various outdoor scenes...Thanks

    Offer Waterman & Co.


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