January 23, 2008

David Hockney update

Time's critic/blogger Richard Lacayo chats with David Hockney about his living situation, designing theater sets, landscape painting, the big British press and more.

"Lacayo: When I saw you two years ago you thought you might be involved with landscape painting for just a year, a single cycle of four seasons. But obviously you've stayed with it.
Hockney: I think you can open up landscape painting. Most people would regard it as finished. I don't think it is. When we realized we could open up landscape painting on a large scale with the help of a computer, I got very excited." Read more.

Lacayo includes a link to the Royal Academy of Arts online magazine. Last summer Hockney talked to Martin Gayford about "Bigger Trees Near Warter," which was touted as the biggest landscape ever made outdoors. "The painting is massive. It is made of 50 small canvases, adding up to an area measuring 40-foot wide by 15-foot high. The subject is what you might call the ordinary English countryside: a small copse of trees, with another in the background, and one large sycamore in front, spreading its network of branches above your head. To the right is a house, to the left a road curves away. In the foreground, a few daffodils bloom. The work is the solution to a problem that perplexed and defeated many of the great painters of the nineteenth century: how do you paint a mighty canvas outside, en plein air? To make the work, Hockney has employed the most up-to-date digital technology, in addition to the most old-fashioned – the human hand, arm and eye." Read more.

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