David Hockney is one of our national treasures, hence mile long queues at his Royal Academy ‘A Bigger Picture’ exhibition due to all advance tickets selling out. I went at 9am on Monday morning and found fifty people in the line already; by 930am it was easily 300. But the exhibition is huge so although some areas were busy, the bigger rooms had more than enough space to view the large-scale works.
Hockney mulls over the passing of time in his new East Yorkshire landscapes that were painted especially for this exhibition, but there are plenty of older works on display too. As always, Hockney likes to get us thinking about ways of seeing, which this time he does with a film display, arranged in a grid of 18 screens to show the changing Yorkshire landscape from one season to the next. Also impressive was the room of iPad art featuring a series of iPad ‘paintings’ created over the course of a month that vary from intricate studies with Hockney’s recognisable wiggly ‘brushstrokes’ to more obviously digital renderings.
I’m really kicking myself for not getting an audio headset as these feature snippets of Hockney’s own commentary but I made up for it by lingering over the sketchbooks. If you haven’t seen this exhibition yet I’d strongly advise you to clear a morning from your diary and get down there sharpish.
‘A Bigger Picture’ ends on 9th April and hours are extended to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays between now and then, and for the final week of the exhibition (2nd-5th April). For the final weekend (6th-9th April) it will be open until 10pm.