Thursday, September 14, 2006

"A Year in Yorkshire"

To Annely Juda for the pre-private-view private view of DH's new show 'A Year in Yorkshire'. 25 stunningly spatial views of Bridlington and surrounds in highly charged colour.

The gallery was a third full if that, just friends and models, some collectors. Lashings of very fine champagne and platters of beautiful sushi, most of which Gerald ate, and posh things on chicory and/or banana leaves floating past continually. Having spoken to the great man himself who called earlier in the day and was 'dreading it, love', we were thrilled for him and for us that they'd put on this special night and kept the numbers manageable. He's very deaf and just can't hear at all in crowded rooms. A good many artist friends rocked up (proper senior ones... no messing about) and friends from Kensington and Los Angeles. David's sister margaret who I hadn't seen for five or six years got the train down from Bridlington.

Importantly, because it was reasonably quiet, you could actually see the work. I'd been sent a catalogue, which was breathtakingly beautiful in itself, but the real work brought me up short, as it always does. Some of the paintings are sunny and light, nanny England fried in death valley heat, some are wintery and cold. But even the cold ones are full of terrifically loud colour. Some colours don't appear to make sense from three feet away but step back further and they pull together. Pinks become misty dewy mornings, purples become shadowy country lanes. In the Summer pictures the cornfields roast in the sun and the yellows blaze so intensely that they light up the room. And the skies are among the best I've seen him do.

Even the looser paintings have a deftness of touch and it's just very good quality work. Expertly made, pleasing and joyful... The critics will hate it but that hardly matters.

These paintings make me want to expand my 'childhood explorations' by setting up an easel in a Shropshire field or returning to Cornish resorts to paint memory charged locations. Can I show trad 'oils on canvas' alongside 'difficult' projected dvd's of emotional reminisances and conceptual looking collages?... Yes of course I bloody can !!!!

The 'opening' itself is tonight, but without the artist. It really was a private view, in the true sense of the word. Not a piss up where you can't see the work. Absolute quality.

David Hockney 'A Year in Yorkshire'
Annely Juda Gallery:
Until 18th October 2006