The first thing that greets you entering the Sackler Wing in Burlington House is the electric hues Hockney engaged to bring to life his new collection: ‘82 Portraits and 1 Still-life.‘
We booked our tickets to the Royal Academy as soon as we the heard news of the show, a great comeback following his return to Los Angeles after his Bigger Picture exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2012.
The collection is a new body of work that embraces portraiture with a passion, providing the onlooker an insight into his life in LA over the past two years and to those people who played a part in that story.
The portrait sitters are Hockney’s friends, family, and acquaintances. All sat on the same striking yellow chair, set against an electric blue background. The portraits were created over a series of sittings in a two-year period and for no longer than 24 hours, an amount of time Hockey felt was the maximum he could ask of them.
One portrait that really stood out for me was that of Celia Birtwell, the famous textiles designer immortalised by Hockey in his well-known piece, Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy.
What you notice as you peruse the gallery, is the developed expressions and personalities that leap off the canvas and leave you with a sense of wonder and curiosity as to what they were thinking; some a happy medium others a restless unease.
The gallery invites an insight into Hockney’s life in what we felt was a warm, slightly staged performance.
To find out more and to book tickets please go to the Royal Academy website.
Tickets are priced at £11.50 with concessions available.
The exhibition runs until 2 October 2016.
Sunday – Thursday