David Hockney and the joy of looking

A-Bigger-Splash_webEmma Crichton-Miller at Prospect Magazine:

As the Tate’s Andrew Wilson suggests, overfamiliarity with a handful of images has inured us to the radicalism of Hockney’s work, and obscured the consistency that runs through it. “Is the Hockney of popular imagination—of A Bigger Splash and the double portraits—the real Hockney? Or is he more extended than that?” Wilson asked me. The opportunity to see works from private collections, some of which have not been on display for 30 or 40 years, will enable a more thoroughgoing exploration of the oeuvre. There will be recognisable icons such as Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, from 1970-71, which features the “it” couple of their day, textile designer Celia Birtwell and fashion designer Ossie Clark, the latter ruffling a fur rug with his toes as light streams into their elegantly under-furnished Notting Hill flat.

But there will be much more: exuberant cubist interiors and scroll-like landscapes from the 1980s; the Very New Paintings of the 1990s; etchings, drawings and photo collages; iPad drawings and the immersive landscapes of the 2000s; group portraits of card players from 2014 and the latest massive video works. “What I hope comes through,” Wilson says, “is this idea of Hockney as a quintessentially postmodern artist, incredibly virtuosic, marrying styles, moving between media, playful, mercurial. But also incredibly traditional, in a very radical, very contemporary way.” Wilson continues: “What has been absorbing him since he was a student in Bradford is this conundrum which preoccupies all painters: How do you represent the world of three or four dimensions, plus emotion, in two dimensions? This is the bedrock of his work.”

more here.