Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hockney: A Bigger Picture at Royal Academy

David Hockney. Winter Timber. 2009

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture. 
21 January 2012 - 9 April 2012. Royal Academy of Arts, London

"This exhibition is at the Royal Academy because it will bring in a multitude of punters and, with the outrageous admission price of £14, mightily increase the profits of the grand old whore of Piccadilly, masquerading as a charity. It is so big because Hockney, following the footsteps of Gormley, Kapoor and Gilbert and George, now works to fill the available space, and the "Bigger" of the title suggests that he has not yet identified the Biggest - but if he continues to follow Kapoor, he will, he will. It is repetitive because that is Hockney's way - he takes a subject and wrings it to exhaustion, constantly repeating tricks of handling to lend shallow interest to his fields of canvas. As for his discordant range of colour, I fell to wondering if he is the Monet of our day, his vision so dimmed by cataracts that he must paint in vile greens and viler purples if he is to see anything take shape on his innumerable canvases. And the brushwork is crude because that is what so easily happens when a painter works beyond his, or the subject's, natural scale, or does not care if, when a landscape requires the jigsawing of 50 canvases, the junctions are jerkily approximate." - Brian Sewell

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