Throughout his career David Hockney has asked: How do we see things? How can we depict the things we see? How does a contemporary artist depict the weather, the reflection of water, or a sense of space? In a wide range of media, the works presented in this gallery display Hockney’s enduring lines of enquiry.
In the late 1970s Hockney was intrigued by the expressive qualities of paper pulp which prompted him to embrace colour and scale. Taking the swimming pool as his subject, he explored the ripples of reflection on the steps, the diving board, and the effect of light and shadow on the water at different times of day by painting with liquid paper pulp. The pinnacle of the series is A diver, which depicts the splash of water created by the body as it enters the pool.
A bigger Grand Canyon is a combination of the perceived landscape, as well as the landscape imagined. The painting — comprised of multiple viewpoints — provides us with the experience of being in nature, travelling through it, viewing tiny details as well as dramatic vistas, witnessing changing light, trampling the earth, and feeling the sun beating down. The Grand Canyon is a most suitable subject for a painter inspired by Pablo Picasso and Cubism and obsessed with the depiction of space.