Last night, I was so happy to hear David Hockney talk at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago. I've wanted to meet him for years, actually I want him to sketch me, but I was happy just to listen to him for an hour or so. (I did manage to get him to sign my book.) Beforehand, I went to see his 6 large canvases of Woldgate Woods. Beautiful, complex, and moving. What can I say-- I think he is one of the most important painters alive and I love his work. He has spent a large part of his career working out the problem of perspective-- exploring ways to represent the world without being bound to the rigid perspective of a photograph. He has managed to be a relevant painter for 50+ years-- fueled by his intellectual curiosity and his refusal to limit his explorations.
A few things he said last night about this recent work, what he referred to as landscapes of "the marvelous three-dimensional world:"
--"I became very aware that you see terrific things out of the corner of your eye."
--"these landscapes are my figure paintings...where is the figure you ask? You are-- the viewer is the figure."
--"you can't really see a tree unless you look at it for a year."
--"in winter, these trees became like faces."
--"there is a randomness in nature...maybe we don't like the randomness, but limbs grow here and there as they want."
(Thank you to my friend Renee for telling me about this event.)
Wednesday, July 9
Labels: British artists