Brighten Up Your Day At This Vivid David Hockney Exhibition

David Hockney, Tate Britain ★★★★★

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 88 months ago

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Last Updated 07 February 2017

Brighten Up Your Day At This Vivid David Hockney Exhibition David Hockney, Tate Britain 5
Hockney wows us with colour in this retrospective.

David Hockney is believed by many to be Britain's greatest living artist. We were wowed by his Bigger Picture exhibition, but disappointed by his portraits. What will be our verdict on Tate Britain's retrospective spanning from the 1960s to today?

Collage has always been a key part of Hockney's work, like in this American landscape.

The show starts slowly, the first two rooms straining to convey Hockney's versatility as an artist and the many styles he adopted in painting and digital photography.

A Bigger Splash is one of Hockney's most famous works and it's in this show.

Then we hit the swimming pool paintings... the stuff he's most well known for. Naked men emerge from the pool, laze by the side, and shower in these erotically charged water works.

A nine screen view travelling down a road in summer.

At the halfway point the exhibition suddenly shifts gears, bursting into a riot of colour. And it's mesmerising.

The same scene in winter looks completely different. All four seasons surround visitors in this show.

Green hills, blue skies and red canyons so bright, they sear your eyeballs. Not to mention the psychedelic landscapes with a surreal colour palette — dreamt up by an imagination let loose.

Hockney's iPad drawings rotate across multiple screens.

What we love the most about Hockney is that he doesn't stop experimenting with age. Many of his iPad drawings are on display and while not his finest work, they show he's willing to try out new tools and techniques.

Our favourite room shows four films progressing down the same Yorkshire road across four seasons. Each film is created by nine individual cameras, so the edges never quite align — Hockney has moved beyond photo collage to video collage, and the result is beautiful.

A tense dual portrait of the couple Chris Isherwood and Don Bachardy.

There are some of the large scale landscapes that wowed us at his Royal Academy exhibition, and plenty of portraits (ho hum), on display too.

It's fair to say there's more of Hockney's later work on display. But that's no bad thing; his later work is often stronger than his earlier.

We'll leave you with another dazzlingly bright painting.

This is a comprehensive retrospective, and these vivid works are the perfect antidote for those Londony skies outside.

David Hockney is on at Tate Britain from 9 February to 29 May. Tickets £19.50 for adults, concessions available.

All images taken by Londonist, all paintings copyright David Hockney.