David Hockney on Playing With Perspective and His New Show at the Pace Gallery

David Hockney on Playing With Perspective and His New Show at the Pace Gallery - American Fashion News

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In 1989, David Hockney attended the launch of Photoshop in Silicon Valley, where he experimented with the new product for three days. Driving back to Los Angeles, he remarked to his assistant that the program was “all about drawing. That’s where all of this is going.” Hockney recounted this by phone the other day from his studio in L.A. “Photography started with painting,” he said, “and now it’s going back.”

Last month, Hockney, still prolific at the age of seventy-seven, traveled to New York City for the debut of his new exhibition at the Pace Gallery, “Some New Painting (and Photography).” The show, twenty-two pictures in all and the first exhibition of works the artist has completed since returning to L.A. after a decade in England, is made up of various representations of figures who have sat or posed in his studio—portraits, group portraits, and one painting of a circle of dancers holding hands that recalls the work of both Matisse and Eadweard Muybridge.

The new body of work extends Hockney’s fifty-year search for new ways to consider perspective, part of which, he says, has involved an inquiry into the relationships between media. “Photography came about in 1839 because chemicals were put into the camera. Before that, the hand was in the camera,” he said. “Cameras are older than photography.” Photography, in other words, is a descendant of sketching. Hockney’s work often manages to sublimate the difference. “Cubism was an attack on perspective,” he said. “It’s been one hundred years since perspective was last discussed, with Cubism. But it’s still interesting, still the same problem. In this show, the photographs came from the paintings.”

Does working digitally allow him to access perspective differently? “Oh, yes, absolutely,” he said. “In the photo of the chairs, every chair is photographed separately, because of the angle. I don’t use one perspective. I use very many. That is where photography is going, multiple perspectives. This is what digital permits.”

Hockney said that, in January, he may do a digital version of his 1986 photo collage Pearblossom Hwy. “I think this is the most interesting thing to be doing in art now,” he said. “Digital.” For the moment, though, he is content to work with older materials. “I had a great week in New York,” he said. “I looked at twelve-hundred pictures by Matisse and Picasso. At Gagosian, at Pace, at MoMA. It inspired me to go back and paint.”

“Some New Painting (and Photography)” at the Pace Gallery runs through January 10, 2015.​

 

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