David Hockney is considered one of the most influential contemporary artists. With the large-format seasonal cycle “Three Trees near Thixendale” from the Würth Collection, which will be a guest in Berlin for several months, Hockney turns to the atmospheric seasonal changes of nature in his British homeland. In dialogue with selected landscape depictions from the collections of the National Museums in Berlin, Hockney’s engagement with the art of previous centuries as well as parallels to great models such as Rembrandt, Constable and van Gogh become comprehensible. The exhibition will be on show in the Gemäldegalerie am Kulturforum in Berlin-Tiergarten from April 9th, 2022.
Image above: David Hockney, Three Trees near Thixendale, Spring, 2008, oil on eight canvases, Sammlung Würth 12500, © David Hockney, Photo: Richard Schmidt
After studying at the Royal College of Art in London, David Hockney (* 1937 Bradford) first travelled to California in 1964, which was to become his home for many years. His experiments with acrylic paint and Polaroids resulted in his series of iconic swimming pool paintings, which caused an international sensation. Through his constant involvement with different techniques from lithography to photo collage and his interest in a wide variety of art forms from stage design to landscape painting, Hockney continues to have an impact in many fields today and influences them with his joy of experimentation.
In the 1990s, the artist began to focus intensively on the nature of his British homeland Yorkshire. Believing that photography could not capture the beauty of Yorkshire, he declared war on the camera and used it as a technical tool to realise his ideas on a large scale.
His recent landscape paintings merge traditional techniques and digital possibilities. They reveal his preoccupation with the art of previous centuries as well as his own observation and representation of the North American and English landscape. In an examination of the artists of the past centuries, Hockney reexamines the question of the realism of landscape depictions as well as our habits of seeing and perceiving.
The special exhibition in the Wandelhalle of the Berlin Gemäldegalerie places Hockney’s monumental landscape cycle “Three Trees near Thixendale” (2008-2009) from the Würth Collection in relation to selected landscapes from the collections of the National Museums in Berlin. Works from the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Gemäldegalerie and the Kupferstichkabinett thus provide an insight into the diversity and richness of the genre of landscape painting, which experienced a renaissance in David Hockney’s large-scale paintings.
In addition to paintings by masters such as Jacob van Ruisdael, Meindert Hobbema and Richard Wilson, the special exhibition also shows works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent van Gogh and John Constable, whose landscapes served Hockney as models.
The juxtaposition reveals analogies and parallels to the older works, whose technique, composition and perspective, but also their atmosphere and mood, Hockney studied intensively. For the first time, the exhibition brings the works into close proximity and dialogue with each other. They not only bear witness to the importance of landscape painting, its popularity and its influence up to the present day, but also reveal its complexity and richness of facets.
Accompanying the exhibition is a free booklet in German and English.
Saturday, April 9th – Sunday, July 10th, 2022
Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 10 am – 6 pm, Sat – Sun: 11 am – 6 pm