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David Hockney: Yosemite re-imagined

Posted in Things We Love

yosemite suites4:40 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I look up and the sky is a perfect shade of intense blue, so velvety I think I could touch it. If I turn around, towards the mountains, the blue dissolves into a hazy white, fading into the rock. On the opposite side, the sky mingles with the ocean, creating a smattering of stripes, from grey to baby blue and every shade in between.

If you had to ask a resident what they love most about California, most will mention the light. I fell in love with the light immediately – the intensity of it, the pastel hues that make even the more unsightly buildings acquire character – or quirkiness. After years of eyes trained on a European light, decidedly starker, if not downright steely the farther north one travels, I was astounded. I did not expect it.

I am certainly not alone in my awe. David Hockney, who probably first saw the Californian light with English eyes, has been a lifelong fan. His Californian swimming pools, painted in the 1960s, mix modernism with the never changing brightness of the Californian light.

yosemite suitesIn 2010 and 2011, David Hockney travelled to Yosemite Valley and, in the process, captured the landscape on his iPad, using a drawing app. The use of color and layering convey the majesty of the Californian nature.

hockney_yosemite-640x714The drawings are now on show at the LA LouverGallery which, incidentally, is located a stone’s throw from Venice Beach, where it is worth going, not for the cheap junk or the dope, but for the sunset.

hockneyThe Yosemite Suite was created on an iPad and transformed into large prints. Some of them were first shown at the Royal Academy in London, at the Guggenheim in Bilbao and at the de Young in San Francisco but this is the entire collection.

yosemite-suiteIf you are a Hockney fan, watch out for three major exhibitions opening next year:

Royal Academy of Arts in London (July to October)
National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (November to March 2017)
Tate Britain in London (February to May 2017)

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8 Comments

  1. How interesting that you should mention you love for Californian light – I must be a freak because it really didn’t impress me, it was one of the first things I noticed when I went out. I found it too bright, preferring instead the golden hues one sees in sunny Winter days in London, preferably casting shadows under trees… If Hockney was in love with California’s light, I finally understood (and fell in love with) Turner’s paintings once I saw my first golden ray of sun after a storm over here…

    August 12, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      It is so diametrically opposite to the English light, even in the countryside in Summer. I happen to love them both but I was very taken aback when I moved here as you don’t expect mainland US to have such a tropical kind of light. It’s a mixture of tropics meets the desert. So highly unusual.
      I have always loved Turner – used to go to the all Tate all the time to see his paintings and marvel at their light.

      August 12, 2016
      |Reply
  2. Beautiful paintings.

    August 12, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      🙂

      August 12, 2016
      |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Thank you for the stump link. I had no idea. If you can, you should go to London. Love Hockney too – I understood California also through his paintings.

      August 12, 2016
      |Reply
  3. We could only be so lucky to see this exhibit! Thank you for sharing such beautiful images. Lovely, just truly lovely. ღ

    August 12, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Why not take Sam and decamp to Australia??? Just kidding.

      August 12, 2016
      |Reply

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