David Hockney

(9th July 1927 – )

David Hockney is an English painter and an important contributor to the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s. He is considered one of the most influential British artists of our era.

Hockney is known for a wide variety of subjects and media, but I am paying particular reference to his landscape paintings. He enjoyed painting the countryside around Bridlington in East Yorkshire, which is an area I visited frequently as a child. He would paint en plein air in both oils and watercolours.

Here are three examples of paintings he did in his beloved East Yorkshire.

David Hockney (1997), North Yorkshire [oil]

In ‘North Yorkshire’ , Hockney has used bold and bright colours to depict a North Yorkshire landscape. The fields are created with stripes of colour in the foreground, becoming more subtle as they move into the distance. The hills in the distance are created using different textures to the fields. The latter two thirds of the image consist of varying shades of green. To me, the image looks simplified and quite primitive, almost child like. There is a strong sense of shape and colour, and the whole image is bold and cheerful. It feels clean and expansive.

David Hockney (2005), Woldgate Vista [oil on canvas]

In Holgate Vista, we can again see Hockney’s use of bold colours, strong brushstrokes and simplified style. There is a strong focus on the foreground, with its heavy textured wheat, and from just below the centreline, the perspective of the hills fades into the horizon. The detail decreases the further away the landscape appears. The whole image looks bright and optimistic, and says a lot about how much Hockney loved the East Yorkshire landscape.

David Hockney (2004), Roads and Cornfields, East Yorkshire [watercolour]

Although the above is a watercolour painting, it still has the same hallmarks as Hockney’s oil paintings. There is the bold use of colour, the simplification of texture and form, and the general sense of expansiveness and optimism. The perspective looks accurate, however, I would have thought that the landscape would appear darker and less defined the further into the distance the landscape recedes.

Hockney certainly has a distinctive style. His paintings of the East Yorkshire landscape are optimistic and portray a real sense of admiration and fondness of the region. His subjects are bold and brash, simplified in texture and form. He manages to convey the joy he finds in his art and painting. His love of his craft.

REFERENCES

David Hockney (1997), North Yorkshire At: https://www.galleryforty-nine.com/shop/8zlxab2jd2sxe0qgj4nloxt3owdwar (Accessed 24/05/21)

David Hockney (2005), Woldgate Vista [oil on canvas] At: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/van-gogh-david-hockney-exhibition (Accessed 24/05/21)

David Hockney (2004), Roads and Cornfields, East Yorkshire [watercolour] At: https://www.thedavidhockneyfoundation.org/artwork/2898 (Accessed 24/05/21)

2 comments

  1. I like how you said Hockney conveys joy in his art. In these paintings, there’s a beauty in not how the landscape looks realistically, but how the landscape made Hockney feel. The boldness and cheerfulness of the yellow and orange come right through to us viewers.

    Liked by 1 person

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