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David Hockney (b. 1937)

The Field Entrance, January 2006

David Hockney (b. 1937)
The Field Entrance, January 2006
signed and dated 'David Hockney Jan 16 06' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm.)
Painted in 2006.
LA Louver Gallery, Venice
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Lot Essay

The Field Entrance, 2006 is one of a series of large-scale works painted upon David Hockney's return to the United Kingdom in 2005. The paintings in this series of Yorkshire landscapes reflect the artist's desire to both explore the landscape and roots of his childhood and to reconsider the possibilities of the landscape genre. These works signal a reinvention of Hockney's painting, and a further development of the naturalistic style for which he is perhaps best known.

In reference to these works, Hockney posed the question, "Is it possible to do anything new in the landscape genre? Most of the art world thinks it's not worth doing anymore" (D. Hockney, "Why Go Painting in Yorkshire?," David Hockney: The East Yorkshire Landscape, exh. cat., Los Angeles, p. 11). Through his series of Yorkshire landscapes, Hockney set out to test this assumption. Throughout his career, Hockney has concerned himself with the techniques of Old Masters, and he draws upon the works of John Constable and J.M.W. Turner in his Yorkshire landscapes. Responding to artistic notions of perspective, Hockney acknowledges that "the optical projective of nature is a view of the world from one point. It is not a human view. The camera sees surfaces, we see space" (Ibid., p. 14). The Field Entrance, 2006 exemplifies the artist's desire to explore and contribute to the development of the landscape genre and to go beyond the confines of the perspective offered through the photographic medium.

Through the myriad of soft greens and light blues, the viewer gains access in this work to a landscape of rolling hills set against a grey sky so emblematic of the English countryside. Aptly titled The Field Entrance, it appears as if the viewer is standing in the foreground of the painting, looking out to the verdant landscape, the vibrancy of which recedes with the distance. This work illustrates Hockney's advice to himself: "so stand in the landscape you love, try and depict your feelings of space, and forget photographic vision, which is distancing us too much from the physical world" (Ibid., p. 14).

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