Sunday, 19 February 2012

David Hockney at the Royal Academy

Got tickets in advance for the Hockney. I was quite excited to go. Apart from the fact that the Royal Academy is a horrible gallery to visit (too many people of a particular sort).

The galleries were packed - it was like trying to look at art in a crowded Friday night bar. The pictures are, in the main, huge and to see them properly you need to be able to be a distance away from them. Not possible in the crowd. Timed entry - at 3pm all of us entering then are crammed into the first room - couples, families, people in from the burbs, tourists, buggies, toddlers, arty oddballs, arty ordinaries etc. The pictures are the four seasons view of a group of three trees. Winter and summer are my favourite. Then led into a small retrospective of pictures that are very familiar from the 50s, 60s that were in a book that my mum had. And one huge grand canyon picture. A mixture of styles - some very flat with words, some very colourful. In the body of work from Yorkshire I liked the collection of oil and water colours. Sometimes the themes felt over-worked - it became a little formulaic. The huge paintings that are being used to advertise the exhibition are impressive only in scale and are somehow too composed, seem rushed and lacking in emotion. A bit too much like wallpaper. iPad drawings blown up were interesting while being varied in quality. Film work - liked the films of the landscapes in the paintings but not so much the dancing in the studio (not developed enough - I felt the idea could have gone further). Perhaps the abundance of similar composition and mass of paintings detracted from the ideas. I might have preferred greater selection. I also couldn't get over the crowds. It was claustrophobic.

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