Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

Hockney Exhibition – Is Big Better?

Posted by Phil On April - 1 - 2012

There’s been long queues for David Hockney’s Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

This couple outside however seemed oblivious to the crowds.  It was also very busy inside, but despite the crowds, I found Hockney’s huge paintings created a movie like experience.  Many canvases were cinema screen sized, so when you stood reasonably close, they filled your field of vision.


Standing close, everything you could see was the painting. So you were seeing it as the artist saw the scene. This was an extra-ordinary experience.

For me the most memorable was the gallery with six giant canvases, all painted from the same position at the confluence of paths in the middle of Woldgate Woods.

Hockney had gone back to paint the scene as the seasons changed the view throughout the year.

So as viewer, you were able to walk a few paces to see, through his eyes, as Spring changed to Summer, Autumn and Winter.  Extraordinary.  It’s not as though the location was especially memorable, but through Hockney’s vision he revealed  beauty out of  the ordinary.

Then toward the end of the exhibition, it did literally become cinematic, as Hockney had filmed some of the locations throughout the seasons, with 9 simultaneous cameras, showing on 18 screens.


Then somewhat playfully, the video  finished with a song and dance routine.

All in all an inspiring exhibition,  which reminds you what a beautiful country we live in.


With thanks to the  Royal Academy

Check out David Hockney Website

..and this is a good Hockney site :   ART SY 

ARTSY includes his bio, over 90 of his words, exclusive articles written about his current shows and press, as well as listings for up-to-date exhibitions – it’s definitely a unique resource for any information on Hockney.