How profitable was the first lockdown for you? Possibly not quite as productive as David Hockney’s. While the rest of us were Zooming, Joe Wicks-ing and watching a whole load of Netflix, the 83 year old artist was busy creating 166 iPad drawings documenting the arrival of Spring in the gardens of his Normandy bolthole near the half-timbered village of Beuvron-en-Auge.
The result of a French lockdown with his two long-term assistants and his dog, the pictures are the antidote to the world’s current precariousness. Full of hope and the absolute certainty of the seasons, they’re a joyful reminder that nature endures whatever we throw at it – and they’re all the more poignant as the UK begins its third lockdown.
From March 27 2021 (coronavirus rules depending), they’ll be on display at London’s Royal Academy in the exhibition David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring 2020, which is slated to run until 22 August. Rendered much larger than the originals by printing onto paper, the works allow the viewer to immerse themselves in the unfolding season, as well as soak up some of their much-needed unbridled positivity.
Hockney has long been interested in the passage of the seasons: back in 2011, the RA hosted another solo exhibition (The Bigger Picture), which focused on the Yorkshire landscapes of his childhood through Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. And last year, a collection of iPad drawings made throughout the year from the window of his Yorkshire home was published in a book by Taschen. We’re lucky enough to have some of these works available as editions: take a closer look here.