previews

David Hockney, Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006, six parts, oil on canvas, 5' 11 5/8 x 12' 1/8".

London

“David Hockney Ra: A Bigger Picture”

Royal Academy | Burlington Gardens
6 Burlington Gardens
July 24, 2013–April 9, 2012

Curated by Marco Livingstone and Edith Devaney

Barely out of the Royal College of Art some half a century ago, David Hockney quickly earned an uncontested place in the annals of Pop art with his angelic ingriste graphic gift. Derived from close attention to Picasso, this early body of work largely focused on eroticized portraiture. Over the years, however, Hockney has pursued other genres, in particular landscape—a direction about which there is far less unanimity—and in doing so, turned away from Picasso, favoring instead the palette of Matisse, not to say van Gogh. Now a survey of nearly two hundered works is poised to challenge the long-standing critical indifference to Hockney’s vistas. It should also make clear his transformation from inspired graphic classicist to national painter (now that he is once more home in England), maintaining solidarity with the formidable English landscape tradition that runs from, say, John Constable’s rural countryside to the angst-filled world channeled by Paul Nash.