Immersive exhibitions have taken the art-world by storm and David Hockney will soon be jumping on the bandwagon with his exhibition Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) to be displayed at the Lightroom in Kings Cross from January 25- April 23, writes Molly Pavord.
The grand-scale projective element of the exhibition is akin to The Immersive Experience: Monet and Van Gogh, which involved a powerful reconfiguring of their famous works.
Although, as Hockney pointed out in an interview on BBC Radio 4 recently: “They’re dead, they can’t add anything to it but I’m alive, I still can. I can make things work better.”
The exhibition will also feature a selection of some of his newer and rarely seen pieces as well as more famous works.
As an artist who has worked across different mediums, such as set design, iPad drawings, computer applications and photography, Hockney doesn’t shy away from innovation.
The way that Bigger & Closer intersects art and technology within Lightroom’s innovative space complements his vibrant choice of colours, and theatrical background.
He told the BBC: “Lots of my paintings were meant to be big, now they’re even bigger. That’s what’s exciting.
“We’ll have those nine big camera works of spring, summer, autumn and winter on the walls, but you’ll be looking up, [it’s] amazing to be really looking up at them. The audience will feel on it, they will feel in the forest, they will feel on the cliff. It’s changing everything.”
The visual world of Hockney’s imagination is to be enhanced by a commentary of the artist himself, revealing his artistic process, and also a specially composed score by Nico Muhly.
In this commentary, Mr Hockney said: ”The world is very very beautiful if you look at it, but most people don’t look very much. They scan the ground in front of them so they can walk, they don’t really look at things incredibly well, with an intensity. I do.”
Hockney has featured in 400 solo exhibitions and 500 group exhibitions, and his 2017 exhibition, celebrating his 80th year, became Tate Britain’s most visited exhibition.
Executive producer Nicholas Hytner said: “What’s so exciting about this show is how authentically Hockney it is.
“Listening to his voice in this astonishing new space while seeing his artworks unfurl around the four walls is going to be both an experience and an education.
“It suggests how potent this medium will be for the other creators and artists with whom we will make new and original Lightroom shows in the years to come.”
Pictured: David Hockney viewing the model box containing August 2021, Landscape with Shadows’ Twelve iPad paintings comprising a single work / Picture: Mark Grimmer