David Hockney 1937 –
One of the highlights of this year’s Art Basel in Basel was the Unlimited exhibit, that displayed works that are too large to be shown in an average size gallery. The works are, instead, shown in the massive Hall 1. David Hockney’s Pictures at an Exhibition, 50 feet long by nearly 16 feet high, was one of the works featured in Hall 1.
In a recent article in The Art Newspaper, titled Abstraction in art has run its course, Hockney looks at the importance of understanding the history of art and how it is created. His 2006 book, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters explored the way in which Caravaggio, Vermeer, da Vinci, and other hyperrealists actually used optics and lenses to create their masterpieces.
Hockney himself has used photography as a basis to create some of his finest works, like Hotel Acatlan: Two Weeks Later, from; The Moving Focus Series, 1985, available at VFA. Hockney has been living on a farm in Normandy for the past few years, saying that it’s the only place where he can find a restaurant where he can smoke a cigarette after a meal. He’s been doing iPad drawings of the world around him, like My Shirt and Trousers, 2010, available at VFA.
Artists like David Hockney, show us the world through their eyes. In his Art Newspaper article, Hockney writes, “What does the world really look like? I know it doesn’t look like photographs. The camera sees geometrically, and we must see psychologically. So what does it really look like? I think you have to draw it. The world is very beautiful, but human beings are quite mad. I have always thought the world of humans mad, and there is little likelihood of this changing, no matter how much we try.”
Jonas Wood 1977 –
The work of Jonas Wood was described in the New Yorker as “(connecting) the dots from Henri Matisse to Stuart Davis to David Hockney”. Like David Hockney, Wood draws and paints what’s in front of him and those things that feel very close and personal. His drawings are technically brilliant and esthetically engaging, like Pattern couch Interior with Mar Vista View.
Like Hockney’s work, Wood’s bold colors and playful compositions are in great demand in the art market. Last May, one of his paintings, Two Tables with Floral Pattern, sold for $6.5 million…way above its $2-4million estimate.
David Hockney. David Hockney: ‘Abstraction in art has run its course’. The Art Newspaper. September 30, 2021.
Jan Dalley. Unlimited ambition at Art Basel’s section for outsized work. Financial Times. September 17, 2021.
Hollander Cotter. Stuart Davis: A Little Matisse, a Lot of Jazz, All American. The New York Times. June 9, 2016.
Artspace Editors. Jonas Wood breaks auction record at Christie’s. Artspace Editors. May 13, 2021.
Christie’s. From the High Line to MOCA: Jonas Wood’s ‘visual diary. Post-War & Contemporary Art.July 2, 2020.