RA – David Hockney and RA Schools show – July 2016

David Hockney

What struck me:-

  • vividness of colour
  • the repetition of the colour of the background/chair to create continuity in the paintings as a group
  • The teal green and blue background colours feature in places on the figures or their clothing/shadows to pull the colour palette of the piece together
  • the postures of the sitters and how they position their weight is really varied, as well as the position of the chair – seeing so many together one can see the differences easily and draw conclusions about the personality of the individual in the piece
  • there is some clumsiness to the proportions, some of the feet seem strangely shaped.  I wonder what the intention was behind this?
  • The characters of the sitters really shine through in the way he has painted them.  He has captured a real energy to each person and the longer I contemplated the work the more that became evident
  • there is something really truthful and honest in the simplicity and apparent casualness in the approach in this set of work
  • that there is something really powerful in the continuity from one piece to the next, that they are all linked together and, therefore, as a group present themselves also as a unified whole


RA Schools show

RASchools4 RASchools3 RASchools2 RASchools1

Oh dear, I did struggle with this show.  It made me feel old and lacking in knowledge and understanding.  I wanted to make sense of it, but I found it hard.  I expect that these students are about as contemporary and accomplished as it gets if they are studying at the RA.  I look at my own practice, therefore, and wonder how on earth I will ever express myself as an artist in a way that will be heard.  I enjoyed the unusual materials, however, if I’m honest, I didn’t understand what they were saying and I didn’t feel moved by any of it.  hhmmm.


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