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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Painting of the Month (3) April 2010: David Hockney

A Bigger Splash, 1967
David Hockney's iconic painting was made in California in 1967. I enjoy it for it's clean cool lines and it's overall design with strong horizontals, verticals and angles.
For me it manages to convey coolness even though the shadows, or lack of them, indicate that it is noon and probably very hot. The diagonal of the diving board points to the distant deck-chair and the splash itself has become what the picture is about. The diver has been obliterated out of the picture.
Look closely at the different elements that make up the splash - its as if the artist has deconstructed what a splash is made of and synthesised one in paint.
David Hockney was born in Yorkshire, England in 1937 (not 1934 Wikipedia!) and was one the 'pop art' school of London in the sixties.
I will be featuring several other British artists in the coming months


klahanie said...

Hi bazza,
I like David Hockney's painting, 'A Bigger Splash', very much.
It reminds me of my youthful days in Vancouver when we you used go swimming in our neighbour's pool on a Friday night. We were pretty wild teenagers and I'm not sure the adults at this one pool appreciated the fact we dropped a canoe into their pool:-)
Thanks for this, bazza, and thanks for bringing back some pleasant memories. Thank you Mr. Hockney.
Kind wishes and respect, Gary

bazza said...

Hello Gary: It reminds me of California but I would rather be reminded of Vancouver a place I like very much.
My cousin lives in Kitsilano and I have visited a few times.
I'm pleased you like this picture.

Bob said...

The geometry is so striking it's almost an abstract painting.

Have you studied art Bazza? I haven't but am keen to learn more.

bazza said...

Bob: What I like about Hockney's work is the element of design. True abstraction is not representative of anything but I do understand what you mean; this painting is moving towards becoming a pattern.
I did study art - "Monet to Pollock: Modern Art & Moderism" as a part of an Open University Arts degree.
What I do in "To Discover Ice" is to choose a painting (or poem or book etc) that I like and then write about it and then research it so that I don't make a fool of myself!

Ursel said...

The splash is pretty cool. It's so oppositional to the other lines, and makes the painting very special. The splash is also flat and not spacial at all, which makes it kind of look displaced. But then it's just perfect to be in the painting!
Thanks for visiting my blog. The multicolored dwellings on a hill sound familiar, but not the ruined temple by the entrance of a park. Have to find that for a photo.

bazza said...

Hi Ursel: Thanks for the return visit and for adding your insightful comments.
Sorry if my San Francisco recolections are a bit vague!
However, I did find that the houses were "between 710 and 722 Steiner Street".

Tom Eagerly said...

British artists!? Isn't that an oxymoron? Whoever heard of a decent British artist apart from Rolf Harris?

bazza said...

Hi Tom: Watch this space and you might learn something interesting!
What about Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Turner, Lowry, Hockney to name but a few!
Thanks for your stimulating comment.