Bigger, bolder, brighter: show puts Hockney back on the landscape


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The Independent Culture

It will be a blockbuster exhibition by Britain's greatest living artist, the biggest display ever of landscape work by David Hockney in this country – David Hockney: A Bigger Picture will open at the Royal Academy from 21 January, and celebrate Yorkshire, the county of Hockney's birth.

"It's a landscape I know from my childhood," said Hockney yesterday. "I never thought of it as a subject until 10 years ago, then realised for me at my age it was a terrific subject."

The exhibition will also be his biggest showing of new work for many years, and will include around 150 paintings, sketches, iPad drawings and film work, most of which have been completed in the past six years, after Hockney moved to Bridlington, Yorkshire, from Los Angeles.

New pieces include video work created with 18 cameras shooting the same scene at subtly different angles and times. A small proportion of the exhibition will be devoted to Hockney's earlier works, including famous pieces like the 1986 photo-collage Pearblossom Highway, which recorded a Californian road trip.

He insisted his multiple-camera techniques were better than Hollywood at capturing the natural world. "I saw Avatar," he said. "You never saw what a leaf was like, what a branch of a tree was like. It comes too quickly."

The showcase is part of the countdown to the London 2012 Festival, a series of cultural events for the Olympic Games. Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival director Ruth Mackenzie said: "The chance to programme an exhibition by David Hockney is the summit of my ambitions."