The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) - fragment
Oil on 32 canvases
365.8 x 975.4 cm (each 91.4 x 121.9 cm); one of a 52-part work
Courtesy of the artist
© David Hockney
Photo credit: Jonathan Wilkinson
Source: Guggenheim Bilbao
Bright landscapes inspired by his native county of Yorkshire form the core of this exhibition which, with Iberdrola’s sponsorship, brings together on the Museum’s second floor around 150 works—oil paintings, charcoals, iPad drawings, sketchbooks and digital videos—most of which have been created in the past eight years. This exhibition offers a unique vision into Hockney's creative world and demonstrates his enormous capacity to represent nature using different techniques, as well as revealing his attachment to the landscape of his youth.
The exhibition also illustrates the extent to which the depiction of the natural environment has been present throughout the artist's career, even when other subjects were the focus of his output. A selection of works from 1956—during his student days in Bradford—until 1998 contextualizes Hockney’s later landscapes and reveals his early preoccupation with the representation of space and his use of color and manipulation of perspective to reflect the natural world.
Dominating one of the Museum’s massive, irregular galleries is the monumental The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (Twenty-Eleven), which allows observers to feel how the excitement of this season emerging around them. This glorious tribute to nature is an installation consisting of one large 32 canvas paintings, surrounded by 51 iPad drawings printed out on paper, all of which record the transition from winter through to late spring on a small road in East Yorkshire and reveal Hockney’s experience in designing opera sets.
About the artist
Born in Bradford in 1937, David Hockney attended the Bradford School of Art before entering the Royal College of Art, where he remained between 1959 and 1962. His classmates included Peter Blake and R. B. Kitaj. Hockney's celebrity came while he was still a student, when his work was included in the Young Contemporaries exhibition, which marked the rise of British pop art. He visited Los Angeles in the early 1960s and settled there soon after. He is often associated with Southern California and the many works he produced there over several decades. David Hockney was elected to the Royal Academy in 1991.