David Hockney at the de Young, Part 3

hockneypainting1David Hockney David Hockney working on The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven), Version 3, 2011

The Exhibit Design

I mentioned the design of the Hockney exhibit earlier. I don’t know if Hockney was personally involved in the placement of the works although he has sometimes,¬†as with the Royal Academy exhibit in 2012, accepted exhibit invitations because of the presentation possibilities.

In any case, it was a huge exhibit, 398 pieces of art, and according to the de Young website, was under the curation and design direction of Gregory Evans.¬† Beginning with the sly confrontation of The Massacre: The Problem of Depiction, the exhibit seemed to be designed to walk the viewer through the problem of what Hockney calls “pictures.” It was not chronological in any sense; it placed pictures painted in the same place, sometimes together, and sometimes not, but, at least in the landscape section, the viewer was moved inexorably in the direction of larger and larger depictions.

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David Hockney at the de Young, Part 2

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David Hockney, A Bigger Exhibition

The Hockney exhibit at the de Young museum in San Francisco,¬† October 26, 2013 to January 20, 2014, was all about the ways Hockney sees and depicts the world. Hockney uses oils, watercolor, charcoal, digital devices, digitals printed huge on paper, depictions with camera obscura and video cameras — every currently available visual tool under his command. His ideas about depiction and his art as displayed at the de Young sometimes disagree, gently but firmly, with the given guidelines and notions painters and picture makers have been following for centuries. The explanations and discussion of Hockney’s ideas about space, time, and the picture plane have always fascinated me. But after my visit to the exhibit, it is the David Hockney landscape paintings and allied work that I am in love with. Continue reading

The Project from Hell

The project from hell is the one that has at least 27 more steps to it than initially envisioned, and each step consists of 1 step forward followed fairly quickly by 1.9999 (or sometimes 4.999999) back.

So, take 20 miles of a dry lake bed, Summer Lake, seen in September from a relatively inaccessible spot on Winter Ridge approximately 250 miles from home.

SunriseWithCloudsThen add in a decision to use cedar planks from an torn-down homestead from the Playa Art Residency compound as surfaces to paint the irresistible 20-mile panorama on.

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[The pile of planks, fondly patted, until reality set in.]

Continue, on arriving back in Portland, with the questions of how much to sand the 2″ thick planks (after the initial grinding off the nubbins at Playa), with what to seal them (white gesso, clear gesso, linseed oil, Liquin), and what paints (acrylic, oil, transparent, opaque) wouldl use the wood grain most advantageously.

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Sampling PossibleSandingsPaintsSealingsWllThen throw a minor surgery to the mix, and you find yourself dealing with The Holidays, after which or in and around which, Decisions Must Be Made.

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