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David Hockney reflects upon life and art as he journeys through lockdown in rural Normandy.

 

'We have lost touch with nature, rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it. This will in time be over and then what? What have we learned?... The only real things in life are food and love, in that order, just like [for] our little dog Ruby... and the source of art is love. I love life.' DAVID HOCKNEY Praise for David Hockney and Martin Gayford's previous book, A History of Pictures: 'I won't read a more interesting book all year ... utterly fascinating' AN Wilson, Sunday Times 'A magic flight of a book... It's a measure of Hockney's vividness of perception that he can always put a cap on Gayford's knowledge ... fabulous' Clive James, Guardian 'Elegant and often surprising... Hockney flags up a topic and Gayford gives the critical armature: it makes for a refreshing double act' Michael Prodger's Books of the Year, Sunday Times 'An eloquent conversational testimony to the vividness of life lived through intelligent looking. You will see Caravaggio and Citizen Kane with fresh eyes' Daily Telegraph '[Hockney] asks big questions about the nature of picture-making and the relationship between painters and photography in a way that no other contemporary artist seems to do ... enormously good-humoured and entertaining ... On almost every page, there is an interesting provocation' Andrew Marr, New Statesman On turning eighty, David Hockney sought out rustic tranquillity for the first time: a place to watch the sunset and the change of the seasons; a place to keep the madness of the world at bay. So when Covid-19 and lockdown struck, it made little difference to life at La Grande Cour, the centuries-old Normandy farmhouse where Hockney set up a studio a year before, in time to paint the arrival of spring. In fact, he relished the enforced isolation as an opportunity for even greater devotion to his art. Spring Cannot be Cancelled is an uplifting manifesto that affirms art's capacity to divert and inspire. It is based on a wealth of new conversations and correspondence between Hockney and the art critic Martin Gayford, his long-time friend and collaborator. Their exchanges are illustrated by a selection of Hockney's new, unpublished Normandy iPad drawings and paintings alongside works by van Gogh, Monet, Bruegel, and others. We see how Hockney is propelled ever forward by his infectious enthusiasms and sense of wonder. A lifelong contrarian, he has been in the public eye for sixty years, yet remains entirely unconcerned by the view of critics or even history. He is utterly absorbed by his four acres of northern France and by the themes that have fascinated him for decades: light, colour, space, perception, water, trees. He has much to teach us, not only about how to see... but about how to live.

 

Details

ISBN: 9780500094365
Audience: General
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 280
Publication Date: 25 Mar 2021
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Dimensions (cm): 22.9(H) x 15.2(L) x 0(W)
Weight (gm): 800

 

Reviews

'Optimistic ... demonstrate[s] the artist's constant fascination with the world around him' - The Arts Society
'Lavishly illustrated... Gayford is a thoughtfully attentive critic with a capacious frame of reference' - Guardian
'Designed to underscore [Hockney's] original message of hope, and to further explore how art can gladden and invigorate ... meanders amiably from Rembrandt, to the pleasure principle, andouillette sausages and, naturally, to spring' - Daily Telegraph
'Gloriously illustrated ... It's a book about many things - Hockney's love of France and French painting, his reflections on many other artists among them. But at its heart is this octogenarian's adoration of nature, his belief that art is rooted in love, and a restless gusto for life' - Andrew Marr, The Spectator
'Peppered with his colourful work and insightful conversations with art critic Martin Gayford, this book shows that, though the pandemic cancelled many things, spring cannot be stopped - and neither can David Hockney' - Daily Mail
'A warm and candid peek into Hockney's thought process and the friends' relationship, visually peppered with hundreds of images... Overall the book acts as Hockney's manifesto for how a reconnection with art and nature could get society through much of its tribulations' - It's Nice That
'A series of conversations punctuated with pictures that you can dip into as you please. There are fascinating discursions about studios, about line, about art outbidding photography, about colour - he's interesting on the varieties of black, for instance. Gayford talks about Hockney turning up the colour dial in his works during his career; right now, it's high volume' - Evening Standard
'Beautifully written. Just the tonic for the lockdown blues' - Jessica Fahy, RTE Arena radio
'Hockney and Gayford ... make a good double act: Hockney's questing vision, Gayford's clear-eyed prose. They share an irrepressible interest in just about everything ... This book is not so much a celebration of spring as a springboard for ideas about art, space, time and light ... scholarly, thoughtful and provoking' - The Times
'Hockney and Gayford's exchanges are infused with their deep knowledge of the history of art ... This is a charming book, and ideal for lockdown because it teaches you to look harder at the things around you' - Lynn Barber, The Spectator
'A burst of springtime joy ... delightfully unfocused, a wide-ranging ramble through art, history, culture and food' - Daily Telegraph

 

Author Biography

David Hockney is perhaps the most critically acclaimed artist of our age. He has produced work in almost every medium and has stretched the boundaries of all of them. His bestselling Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters is also published by Thames & Hudson, as are his previous books in partnership with Martin Gayford: A Bigger Message and A History of Pictures. Martin Gayford is art critic for the Spectator. His books include Modernists & Mavericks, Man with a Blue Scarf, A Bigger Message, Rendez-vous with Art (with Philippe de Montebello), A History of Pictures (with David Hockney), and, most recently, The Pursuit of Art, all published by Thames & Hudson.
Spring Cannot be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy
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