David Hockney? Think big and think bright. Hockney isn’t shy when it comes to his art work and he matches huge imposing images with equally magnificent colours. The undiluted, contrasting colours he uses, which range from vivid pinks and turquoise to brash blues and oranges, appear to have come straight from the tube; as if no one ever explained to him he could mix his paints to create softer hues.

Yet these colours give the paintings a warmth which invites you in, and there is an intimacy gained through the use of close viewpoints despite the grand scale of some of his pieces. He was in fact forced into using separate canvases as his studio simply wasn’t big enough to house the sizes of the pieces he wanted. This resulted in a grid effect which has led to his famous variety of perspectives within a single image.

One room of his recent ‘A Bigger Picture’ exhibition at the Royal Academy hosted the installation The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 made up of an astonishing 52 iPad drawings. They are blown up to form a single dominating painting which spans the entire wall. Hockney likes to focus on journeys through the landscape and many of his works have twisting paths cutting through them. This gigantic piece is no exception with a path straight down the middle and the leaves of the surrounding trees directing you down it. At Hockney’s recent exhibition you really couldn’t find ‘A Bigger Picture’.

Carmel Bevan

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