The Handbook
The Handbook

While most of us spent lockdown binging through episodes of Tiger King, baking banana bread and picking up a pair of knitting needles for the first time, David Hockey chose to use his artistic craft to create a series of new and optimistic works. This might seem like a natural thing to do, but Hockey went one step further and created all 116 paintings on his iPad.  

The household name is famed for his innovative style and became one of the leading pioneers to the pop art movement during the 1960s. Along with the changing times and technology advancements, nowadays you can find him residing in Normandy delicately painting the ever-changing beauty of spring on his humble little iPad. At least, that’s how he spent his lockdown anyway.

iPad Drawing © David Hockney

And exactly a year after the works were created during the global pandemic, the Royal Academy of Arts is showcasing all 116 iPad paintings, due to arrive on 27th March 2021. 

The collection will span the ever-changing world of nature, documenting the unfolding of spring, from beginning to end. It demonstrates that even though 2020 may have been the bleakest year in modern history, nature is constantly changing and renewing, and that this is something which should be celebrated.

iPad Drawing © David Hockney

From the pouring rain to the spring blossoms that dotted Normandy, Hockey’s series is bright, with a real focus on vibrant, lush green. 

Hockney notes that “working on the iPad requires the ability to draw and paint. Each work – which has been printed far larger than the screen on which it was created – allows you to see every mark and stroke of the artist’s hand.”

iPad Drawing © David Hockney
iPad Drawing © David Hockney

This isn’t the first time that Hockey thought to pick up his electronic pen and iPad to create a series of masterpieces. He’s been investigating new technologies for several years now, beginning with his iPhone in 2007. Back in 2012, the Royal Academy of Arts held an exhibition, A Bigger Picture, with several drawings from his iPad on display. 

With Hockney’s work previously auctioned off for over $90 million, all of this has left us wondering one thing though. Would someone really pay $90 million for a painting made on an iPad? Only time will tell…

David Hockey: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 comes to he Royal Academy of Arts on 27th March – 22nd August 2021

www.royalacademy.org.uk


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