David Hockney's A Closer Winter Tunnel, 2006.
David Hockney's A Closer Winter Tunnel, 2006.

Something big happened to David Hockney in 2005 when he decided to spend most of his time in the English countryside after nearly three decades in Los Angeles. The 50-canvas work he submitted to London’s Royal Academy of Arts in 2007 showed a palette that had grown darker yet more vivid than that of his well-known L.A. paintings. Depicting a rural retreat in East Yorkshire, the piece, Bigger Trees Near Warter, took up an entire wall at the Academy and helped prompt curator Edith Devaney to offer Hockney a full-scale exhibition, which goes on display January 21 (through April 9). “David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture” features some 150 works (including A Closer Winter Tunnel, 2006, above)—more than half of which are new—and provides a window onto his five-decades-long study of landscapes. In addition to multipaneled Crayola-like oils, the indefatigable artist has produced supersize prints from 51 iPad drawings and a film about the changing seasons near his home, shot using nine cameras attached to a rig on a Jeep. “Everything feeds into everything else,” says Devaney of Hockney’s masterly synthesis of new technologies.

Painting: Closer Winter, courtesy of the artist