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