David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020, Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London: 23 May-26 September 2021

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Created during the Spring of 2020 from his home in Normandy, David Hockney’s ‘The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020’ exhibition displays 116 works laboriously created using an iPad and Stylus.

The work will be appropriately displayed at the time of the arrival of the new Spring in March 2021 at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Hockney has spent the last two years at his 17th-century cottage in Normandy, which has been the inspiration behind  his latest collection. During the pandemic, Hockney worked there, in isolation,   creating new work, energised by the changing of seasons around him.

 Hockney is known as an  innovative artist, in particular because of  the tools he uses. In 2007, he began to use his iPhone to create his artworks, and gradually began to adopt an iPad and Stylus in 2010. He has already created two  ‘The Arrival of Spring’ collections in 2011 and 2013, inspired by his home county of North Yorkshire, one of which was also created using his iPad, the other using charcoal. Both show his readiness to explore  alternative mediums to create his work and depict, in this case, the natural world in a new and interesting way.

The works, printed in a size far larger than the original iPad screen, allow you to see every minute detail, from the colours in the blades of grass, to the texture of the bark on a tree, allowing the intricacies of the arrival of Spring to be revealed in extensive detail. His fascination with the changing of the seasons is celebrated in this collection, with the use of vibrant colour to depict the growth of new life and, as he said, to show ‘they can’t cancel Spring’, despite the pandemic and countless lockdowns. 

David Hockney, No. 340, 21st May 2020  iPad painting © David Hockney
David Hockney, No. 340, 21st May 2020 iPad painting © David Hockney
David Hockney, No. 370, 2nd May 2020  iPad painting © David Hockney
David Hockney, No. 370, 2nd May 2020 iPad painting © David Hockney

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    Our Rating:
    logo 73 %
    "The great artist s iPad paintings of France in bloom are meant to give us hope."
    Alastair Sooke, the Telegraph
    "Hockney’s colour may be bright, but compare them with the backlit iPad originals and they lose all luminosity."
    "Perhaps his stream in Normandy will become as celebrated as Monet’s lily pond."
    "Even the innately beautiful structure of a tree is undermined by the stick figure lines, which lack all eloquence or fluidity."
    Laura Cumming, the Guardian