1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

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13.8.05

David Hockney’s watercolours

David Hockney had avoided watercolours for the most part of his career so far. But recently he has rediscovered the pleasures of watercolour and in his latest solo exhibitions he has shown many landscapes and portraits in this technique. He’s not using watercolour in the usual way, though. They are large works on paper, usually two or more sheets assembled to form the whole picture; the juxtaposition of several parts as a whole reminds you of his earlier experiments with photo-collages.

There is something special in these new works, both tematically and stylistically. After his long investigations in photography and optics, and his neo-picassian and neo-matissian periods, Hockney is back to basics —to what has always interested him: capturing light and environments, and the personality of people he knows well.

The palette in his new double portraits is more vibrant and intense, while his landscapes (Northern England, Yorkshire; Norway, Iceland) use a very special subdued palette. The brushwork is masterful: loose but very descriptive. Obviously these are watercolours where the artist has enjoyed himself and they are the expression of a very acute observation and interiorizing of the landscape features.



It is remarkable that Hockney feels this special fascination with northern light in spring and summer. The same landscapes which have always attracted other painters such as Bernd Koberling. David Hockney has always said he felt a double, opposite fascination with both mediterranean-californian sunshine and the “gothic gloom” of Central and Northern Europe.

Some links where you can see some of these new works and comments about them: Annely Juda Gallery, Studio-International, National Portrait Gallery, Lalouver Gallery (or simply perform a search at Google with David Hockney watercolors/watercolours.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Hockney's watercolors!
Thanks!
Paris Breakfasts

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