Felled Trees on Woldgate
2008

New Studio

Hockney moves into an enormous studio in Bridlington, where he prepares for a large solo exhibition to be held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 2012. He continues to use digital photography to plan—draw—expansive images of the East Yorkshire landscape, shooting the parts of the multi-canvas works as they progress, turning to his digital images to envision their placement within the larger work he is painting. He is no longer painting only outside, and is glad to rely now on his memory in creating a motif. 

Bigger Trees nearer Warter, Winter 2008, 2008
Bigger Trees nearer Warter, Summer 2008, 2008
Bigger Trees Nearer Warter, Winter 2008

I’ve just rented a very, very large warehouse in Bridlington—the largest studio I’ve ever had. When I signed the lease for five years, I felt twenty years younger. I stopped feeling frail and started feeling energetic. Occasionally, I collapse and spend three days in bed, which is generally three days asleep because I can’t just lie in bed doing nothing. I’m looking forward to painting there because I think it will make a difference to the work and to me being in a bigger space.

Big Trees nearer Warter
Big Trees nearer Warter II
Totem Tree
The Second Totem Tree
Arranged Felled Trees
Felled Trees on Woldgate
Totem Tree, Woldgate
Still There
Little Left

Now, for autumn, I have recorded some changes in the last week through drawings and through computer drawings, and I will do some more later this week .... I began to work in the studio because I wanted to use memory, you see. I felt I had done enough outside. I had done a lot of hard looking. I was beginning to get a vocabulary.

Felled Trees on Woldgate 2008
Woldgate Woods, 21 July 2008
Fresh Timber on Woldgate
Felled Trees
Astray
More Felled Trees on Woldgate
More Crooked Timber on Woldgate
Cut Trees – Timber
Woldgate Woods, 11 August 2008

I used aspects of the computer that permit almost instant reproduction, digital photography in other words. That enables you to build up the rectangles and see them together, so I can see immediately what’s happening in the picture. Technology is allowing us to do all kinds of things today, but I don’t think anybody has thought it could help painting. The computer is a very good tool, but it needs imagination to use it well.

Kilham to Rudston, 9 August 2008
Kilham to Rudston, 9 August 2008
Kilham to Rudston, 9 August 2008
Kilham to Rudston, 9 August 2008
Kilham to Rudston, 22 August 2008
Kilham to Rudston, 23 August 2008
Autumn Thixendale, October 19th
Autumn Thixendale, October 21st

Woldgate Woods in Chicago

At the Arts Club of Chicago, ten of Hockney’s recent landscape paintings are on view. These paintings [NESTED]represent his dedication, evident across his larger body of work, to observing trees, and his particular relationship to the trees at Woldgate Woods near Bridlington. 

Trees are the largest manifestation of the life-force we see. No two trees are the same, like us. We’re all a little bit different inside, and look a little bit different outside. You notice that more in the winter than in the summer. They are not that easy to draw, especially with foliage on them. If you are not there at the right time, it is difficult to see the shapes and volumes in them. At midday, you can’t do that .... Trees become friends. One road I like particularly has trees that must have been planted two hundred years ago. I’ve always liked trees, but being here you look really hard at them. You notice things. The ash trees are always the last to come out.

Trees are the largest manifestation of the life-force we see. No two trees are the same, like us. We’re all a little bit different inside, and look a little bit different outside. You notice that more in the winter than in the summer. They are not that easy to draw, especially with foliage on them. If you are not there at the right time, it is difficult to see the shapes and volumes in them. At midday, you can’t do that .... Trees become friends. One road I like particularly has trees that must have been planted two hundred years ago. I’ve always liked trees, but being here you look really hard at them. You notice things. The ash trees are always the last to come out.

Blossom En Plein-Air, Woldgate I
Blossom En Plein-Air, Woldgate II
Hawthorn Blossom on the B1253, 31 May 08
Hawthorn Blossom near Rudston
The Big Hawthorn
The Big Hawthorn
Hawthorn Bush Near Kilham
Hawthorn Blossom near Rudston

Drawing in a printing machine

During the year Hockney begins using the computer program Photoshop and does a series of portraits reminiscent of those in watercolor. He proves [NESTED]deft at using the tool, which requires him to draw using a stylus on a pad, while keeping his eyes on both sitter and computer screen. Ultimately, he uses Photoshop to do a series of landscapes as well.

Hockney and Jonathan Wilkinson, Photo by J-P Gonçalves de Lima
Hockney and Jonathan Wilkinson, Photo by J-P Gonçalves de Lima
Jamie McHale 1
John Fitzherbert
Jonathan Wilkinson
Margaret Hockney
Dominic Elliott
Jean-Pierre Goncalves de Lima
Dr. Elizabeth Barton
Sir Tatton Sykes
Jamie McHale 2

It allows you to draw directly in a printing machine …. I used to think the computer was too slow for a draughtsman. You had finished a line, and the computer was 15 seconds later, an absurd position for someone drawing, but things have improved, and it now enables one to draw very freely and fast with color. There are advantages and disadvantages to anything new in mediums for artists, but the speed allowed here with color is something new, swapping brushes in the hand with oil or watercolor takes time.

Winter Road near Kilham
Summer Sky
Summer Road near Kilham
Rainy Night on Bridlington Promenade
Cardigan Road, Brid.
Kilham with Church
Autumn Trees near Thixendale, 28 October 2008
Autumn Leaves
Green Valley
Tall Black Trees

Three Trees near Thixendale

Hockney completes four massive paintings of a particular view, Three Trees near Thixendale, begun in 2007, each in a different season.

Three Trees near Thixendale, Winter 2007

I thought I’d do them in August because the trees looked majestic to me. I realized they were about 200 years old each. In the winter you wouldn’t notice them much .... In the summer it’s just the largeness, the weight it seems to have; the branches are bending because of the weight of the foliage. In December they are reaching for the light. So once you’ve done the second one, you think, "Well, when spring comes along, and it’s changing, I’ll do another." So I did. The spring was quite hard, because spring happens very quickly here. We call it "action week."

Photo by J-P Gonçalves de Lima
Three Trees near Thixendale, Summer 2007, 2007
Three Trees near Thixendale, Autumn 2008, 2008
Three Trees near Thixendale, Winter 2007, 2007
Three Trees near Thixendale, Spring 2008, 2008

Exhibitions

Solo

  • Looking at Woldgate Woods, Arts Club of Chicago (Apr 25–Jul 18); catalogue with a text by Lawrence Weschler.

Group

  • Love, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery (Jan 19–Apr 6); travels to Newcastle upon Tyne and London; catalogue.
  • Europop, Kunsthaus Zürich (Feb 15–May 12); catalogue.
  • Twelve Travels: British Art in Sensibility and Experience, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya (Apr 27–Jun 22); travels to Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art (Sep 12–Oct 26), Museum of Modern Art, Toyama (Nov 2–Dec 23); and Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo (Jan 10–Mar 1, 2009); catalogue.
  • Pacific Light: A Survey of California Watercolor 1908–2008, Nordiska Akvarellmuseet (Nordic Watercolor Museum), Skarhamn, Sweden (May–Sep).
  • This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in L.A. Photographs, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California (Jun 14–Sep 16); travels to Musée de l’Eysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (Jan 30–Apr 19, 2009) and Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, France (Oct 24, 2009–Jan 31, 2010).
  • Exhibition of the Modern Art Center Permanent Collection, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (Jul 18, 2008–Jan, 2009).
  • The Norman Stevens Tribute Exhibition: David Hockney, David Oxtoby, John Loker, Michael Vaughn, Norman Stevens, Redfern Gallery, London (Jul 22–Sep 25); catalogue.
  • Synesthesia: Art and the Mind, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Canada (Sep 18–Dec 20); catalogue.
  • Time & Place: Los Angeles 1957–1968, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (Oct 4, 2008–Jan 6, 2009); travels as Hot Spots: Rio de Janeiro/Milan–Turin/Los Angeles, 1956 bis 1969 to Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (Feb 13–May 3, 2009); catalogue.

Publication

Publication

  • Lawrence Weschler, True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.