"David Hockney: A Bigger Picture" in Bilbao
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David Hockney: A Bigger Picture (Spanish, David Hockney: Una Visión Más Amplia; Basque, David Hockney: Ikuspegi Zabalago Bat) was an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from the 15th of May to the 30th of September 2012 of recent work of top English painter, David Hockney. Consisting of paintings, collages and electronically produced art, the show took as its subject matter the East Yorkshire landscape.
The exhibition in Bilbao came after a successful run earlier in the year at the Royal Academy of Arts, a London institution which collaborated with the Guggenheim to present the show. The Bilbao show was one of the most popular ever held at the museum, drawing over 296,000 visitors; it also received generally favorable reviews from both critics and visitors.
Since 1960, David Hockney has been making Pop-primitive paintings. They are considered whimsical and anti-nostalgic. As artistic trends favored at turns more conceptual or abstract work, Hockney steadfastly continued pursuing his interest in representational landscapes, albeit with a twist. He fearlessly combined Cubism and cartooning, art historical tradition and the latest Apple product, employing the artistic canon like a box of crayons to be mixed and matched at will. Such a fearlessness and capriciousness has kept his work relevant and innovative for over his 40-year career.
The title of the show is inspired by an iconic Hockney works, 1967's A Bigger Splash.
In 2007 the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao stated they had no desire to do a retrospective of Hockney’s works instead, focussing on his current work around his return to the UK, specifically his native Yorkshire, after a long stay in California. The exhibit included oil paintings, charcoal drawings, sketches, digital videos and iPad paintings mostly concerning landscapes depicting Yorkshire.
The exhibit focused on natural development throughout the year. This was especially noted in the masterpiece, Spring’s Arrival in Wold Gate; an oversize work composed of 32 canvases showing a road amongst trees. It is noted for Hockney’s polychromatic style expressed in the diversity of colors.
51 paintings made and shown on iPads were displayed showing the transition from winter to summer on a small path in East Yorkshire. Using the app Brushes the artist replaced the traditional sketchbook with the digital medium.
During the exhibition there were some related activities organized by the museum; these included a conference on East Yorkshire’s landscapes and a workshop on painting with the iPad. The conference was delivered by Edith Devaney, exhibition's commissioner, and explained and analyzed the main aspects of the displayed works. Devaney lectured on Hockney’s work with new technologies, especially the iPad.
The workshop, led by Óscar Ciencia, showed how to work with an iPad, for artistic creation and graphic entertainment.
The exhibition was one of the most popular in Spain in the summer of 2012. It listed first in El Mundo’s list of 12 exhibitions to see that season. And on December 29, 2012 when El País released their annual top ten exhibitions of the year, an important index in the Spanish art world, they listed it second only to Edward Hopper’s exhibition the same summer at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
- "El color y los paisajes de Hockney llenan el Guggenheim | País Vasco". elm-undo.es. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "¿Hambre de arte?". elmundo.es. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "Las 10 exposiciones más votadas por los críticos de arte | Cultura | EL PAÍS". Cultura.elpais.com. Retrieved 2013-08-15.