David Hockney is a painter who is synonymous with colour. I queued up for many hours to see his show at the Royal Academy and was so pleased that I braved the cold (I forgot to dress warmly and had stupid shoes on) because it was a wonderful exhibition. The magenta paths and purple muddied leaves that were strewn across his landscapes feel more real. When you describe or see a brown muddy path there are hints and whisps of these bright colours as the light moves across them. Its like he distilled the mud right down to the colour you see that it is when if you glimpsed it at the cusp of your vision.

Of course Hockney has used colour through out his career to great affect. There is always a colour that ‘pops’ within his compositions. Whether thats an item of clothing, the background that a figure is set against or huge swathes of lumbering rocks, shaded in bright reds. Like Delacroix, Hockney uses colour contrasts to make his compositions sing. Purples are juxtaposed against yellows, there are blotches of reds against greens and blues are placed carefully with orange. Hockney’s colour control is considered.

Hockney has recently experimented with making work entirely digitally. His computer drawings are displayed as prints and manage to capture many of the luminous colours we see on screen, as well as the interesting mark making he uses when working this way.

Advertisements