Exhibition: David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring

31st July 2021

On the 29th of July I visited the David Hockney exhibition which was held at The Royal Academy, London. The exhibition showed the series ‘The Arrival of Spring, Normandy’ (2020) which Hockney had completed on an iPad. The app that he had used was adapted and developed to his specific requirements,

He notes that an ability to both draw and paint is essential in the creation of these iPad paintings and views these works as possessing all the qualities of the paintings, with his gesture and hand clearly evident in each of the 116 works.

Royal Academy (2021: FC)
Fig. 1 David Hockney exhibition, Royal Academy, London

I found this exhibition quite hard to appreciate. Comparing the last Hockney exhibition that I attended, which also happened to be at The Royal Academy, ‘A Bigger Picture’ in 2012, this current iPad work seems far less detailed in content and rather basic.

On studying the work from a distance I felt as though there was a hint of Impressionism within some of the images which reminded me of Claude Monet’s haystack work which showed changes in light over a period of time. Hockney’s work had a very similar theme which can be seen in the work above, where specific views are repeated but show different times of the day which means the light alters colours, forms and creates differing shadows.

I also feel that the more relaxed brush strokes coupled with the lack of detail that he had in his previous iPad works in the past, is also influenced by the Impressionists techniques.

Unfortunately I did not stay long within this exhibition because I thought the outcome was quite poor. The only piece of work that actually caught my eye was in the first room by the entrance and consisted of one of his iPad paintings on a screen with animated rain playing over the image to recreate a more realistic outcome. This I thought was a very good use of the iPad and it intrigued me, perhaps I can use this method but instead of my iPad drawings with animation running over them I could use a photograph.


Fig. 1 Radio News Hub. (2021) David Hockney exhibition, Royal Academy, London. [Photograph] At: https://www.radionewshub.com/articles/news-updates/7328 (Accessed 31.07.2021)



Exhibition Guide for Friends (2021) David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020. Royal Academy of Arts: London

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