David Hockney: The Versatile Hand

David Hockney: The Versatile Hand

Celebrating as well the artist’s 80th birthday, the museum is exhibiting more than 160 paintings, photos, engravings, video installations and drawings focusing on Hockney’s artistic evolution. The first part of the show unveils his initial steps where he centered on the city’s urban landscape, particularly on industrial architecture. While attending the art college in Bedford, his paintings were deeply influenced by the Kitchen Sink School and realism, subject that has prevailed in his canvases over the years.

Nonetheless, if he emulated the movement’s color palette – black, red and gray mostly – his creations soon became more vivid. Yet, another element producing a transformation in Hockney’s style was the retrospective in 1960 devoted to Pablo Picasso. His versatile compositions convinced the artist of the incommensurable potential of painting, he needn’t to espouse a sole style as he could embrace them all.

Enthusiastic about this new approach, Hockney embarked in a journey to America that revolutionized once more his painting. The American way of life – the country’s relaxed ambiance and counter culture – impulsed Hockney to more hedonistic hedonistic subjects such as in Domestic Scene, Los Angeles (1963) where two young man take a shower together. Moving to the West Coast his style transfigured into more geometrical configurations where form, either human or landscape belonged to the realm of painting. The intensity and clarity of the Californian light was also investigated during this period, its refraction on water bodies mainly pools sought the birth of iconic works such as Bigger Splash (1967) or Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972), and more.

The perspective in his paintings became linear as in Renaissance canvases with precise vanishing points, imitating reality turned into an obsession. Moreover, presumably the artist became more interested in photography and its mimetic ability. He created what he named “joiners”, a mosaic of polaroids joined together. Although known as a painter, the exhibition sheds light on the artist’s early interest in new technologies.

David-Hockney-Looking-Pictures

From this point on, space and its pictorial representation were steadily investigated in Hockney’s artistic practice, his canvas Looking at Pictures on a Screen (1977) is a brilliant mise en abyme were the spectator observes an inner spectator observing paintings from diverse artists like Vermeer, Van Gogh and Piero della Francesca. Evoking art’s heritage, Hockney’s interest in human vision as well as reality’s representation became more distinct commanding the decades work. To unravel the slightest details registered in man’s eye and to reproduce them was the creator’s ambition, paintings such as Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott (1969) or Contre-jour in the French Style (Against the Day dans le Style Français), (1974) bears witness of this argument.

Nevertheless, after the linear rigidity, Hockney’s oeuvre in the 1980’s and 1990’s frees form transfiguring the pictorial space into two dimensional. Henri Matisse vibrant colours supplant the diluted tones utilised by the artist, landscapes and nature take over his oeuvre and joyously celebrate Mother Earth. The 4 seasons, time lost and found, transform into a recurrent narrative that the artist keeps expanding currently. Continuing with this everlasting interest in technology, he employed the Ipad to create more sophisticated drawings.

David-Hockney-Self-Portrait

David Hockney’s exhibition is an in-depth study of one of the most prolific contemporary artists ever to date. His positive stance on technology open doors to art making it evolve and touch new heights.

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Friday Artist to Watch : The Color Space of Hans Christian Berg

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Hans Christain Berg - Color Space

Visual Vortex and Color Space

Anthropomorphous sculptures and geometric canvases give life to the work of the Finnish artist Hans Christian Berg. “New visual dimensions” are suggested in his series Visual Vortex as well as in Color Space, both being projects where the eye discovers light in different shapes and sizes. He studied sculpture and was part of the ceramics programme at the Aalto University of Art and design in Finland from 2002 to 2004.

Concerned about the loss of ceramic tradition in Finland, he founded, together with his fellow artists, LASIKOMPPANIA in the village of Nuutajärvi, a glass cooperative aiming at revitalizing this ancient practice in his home country. He has had exhibitions in numerous venues such as the Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki, the Finnish Institute in Stockholm, the Norwegian Institute in Oslo, the Kashya Hildebrand gallery in London and more.

In 2000 he received the young Sculptor Award in the memory of the sculptor Utriainen. Hans Christian Berg won the juried sculpture competition for the new “Fennia ”House in Helsinki , Finland in 2008 and was in 2014 awarded 1 prize in the execution of Contemporary Calligraphy at the 6th edition of the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennal. The Willian Thuring Foundation’s Main Prize for excellency in art for a mid career awarded the artist in 2009.His work is part of museum collections such as Kiasma, EMMA, Helsinki Art Museum, Art Nova Museum in Turku and many more.

 

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Artist to Watch: Kathy Lovas

Artist to Watch: Kathy Lovas

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Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Kathy Lovas first graduated from Major’s College where she majored in biology. Nevertheless after this first encounter with science she decided to pursue a creative career where photography became the cornerstone of her expression. Her work was recently acquired by an important company, helping her to pave her way through the corporate art world.

Regarding her artistic practice, photos from family albums retrace the artist’s intimate familiar history unveiling a parcell of her identity. In the manner of vernacular photography, Lovas analyzes images’ repercussion and role in our lives. Company House, an installation exhibited at the Arlington Museum of Art in Texas investigated the symbols behind the photographs and their evolution over the years. With an aesthetic resembling at times the surreal takes of Man Ray such as in M-TRAIN or Seagoville Assignment: Repatriation Lovas expands upon this medium’s legacy.

Archive, artwork or footprint, photography has a versatile nature enabling Lovas to experiment at her own will. Moreover her oeuvre references not only the photographic field but art history at large, her piece Dining Room Chair echoes Joseph Kosuth’s artwork One and Tree Chairs while questioning object’s role within the image. Seemingly for Lovas, photography goes beyond the 2D surface diverging with purist’s opinion, the medium can be material and conceptual.  

Last year she had an exhibition at the Liliana Bloch gallery in Texas in which she presented her work I’m So Glitché in which she made allusion to the mistakes or malfunctions on digital technology. Using digital tools, Kathy Lovas reconstructs the image while pondering on the future of the latter.

 

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