David Hockney: Current

David Hockney inside the world - premiere exhibition David Hockney: Current at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Photo: Wayne TaylorA major solo exhibition of one of the most influential artists of the past century, David Hockney: Current has opened at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

Curated by the NGV in collaboration with David Hockney and his studio, the exhibition will feature more than 700 works from the past decade of the artist’s career – some new and most never-before-seen in Australia – including paintings, digital drawings, photography and video works.

Exhibition highlights include more than 600 extraordinary and sometimes animated, iPad digital drawings of still life compositions, self-portraits and large-scale landscapes including scenes of Yosemite National Park. Another highlight is The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods – a breath-taking and immersive video work showcasing the changing landscape of Hockney’s native Yorkshire, each season comprised of nine high-definition screens.

A dedicated 35-metre long gallery lined with more than 80 recently painted acrylic portrait paintings of the artist’s family, friends and notable subjects including Barry Humphries, Frank Gehry, John Baldessari and Hockney’s Sydney-based brother, John Hockney, is also a major highlight.

Arguably Britain’s greatest living contemporary artist, Hockney, who is 79, today works prolifically as a painter, also experimenting and mastering new technologies, producing thousands of drawings and works created on iPhone, iPad and in video. The artist will create a number of new works for the exhibition including an immersive room installation, which will be exhibited for the first time at the NGV.

“It is a privilege to collaborate with David Hockney, one of the world’s most celebrated and truly innovative artists, to develop this exhibition which features dynamic new works and highlights of his oeuvre from the past decade,” said Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “His recent use of cutting-edge technology will provide an engaging experience for visitors and reveal the mastery and skill behind his ever-evolving practice.”

Other highlights of the exhibition include Bigger Trees Near Warter, Hockney’s largest painting comprised of fifty oil on canvas panels, and the centrepiece of Hockney’s hugely popular exhibition Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy, London and now owned by the Tate. Transforming the gallery, the three remaining walls of this space will display 1:1 digital versions of the same work and it will be the first time that this major work has been exhibited in Australia.

Hockney’s continued investigation into multi-point perspective will be represented by The Jugglers – an eighteen-screen, twenty-two-minute video that depicts the artist in a room of jugglers, injecting Hockney’s signature playfulness into the exhibition. Again utilising technology to reveal a study in perspective, Hockney’s Seven Yorkshire Landscapes is a twelve-minute multi-viewpoint video displayed on 18 tiled, 55-inch monitors which will monumentally showcase the extraordinary landscape.

“I think it’s an absolutely terrific exhibition,’ said Hockney. “It is the first real exhibition about the iPad and iPhone works. This is the first time I’ve done it on this scale. This exhibition is really a marvelous review of the last ten years of my work. I’ve been able to practice the iPad a lot in the last few years […] and I’ve really loved mastering it.”

David Hockney: Current
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Exhibition continues to 13 March 2017
Admission fees apply

For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: David Hockney inside the world premiere exhibition David Hockney: Current at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne – photo by Wayne Taylor