Hockney & Kusama: essential London visits!
Today is the last chance Londoners have to see David Hockney: A Bigger Picture – the most talked-about exhibition to hit the capital since, well, Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery (which hadn’t actually closed its doors when the Royal Academy opened theirs to Hockney’s brightly-coloured compositions).
Their proximity is testament to the wealth of artistic blockbusters London has been treated to recently – and few exhibitions have caught the public’s imagination like the one which sadly ends today at the RA.
As London Living barged our way around at a late opening that bore a passing resemblance to an unusually well-mannered moshpit, it was easy to see what all the fuss was about. Hockney’s paintings are striking and unique: their bright, childlike colours polarise opinions but it’s hard not to be impressed by the staggering scale of the show and the speed at which he worked – in several different forms: from oils and watercolours, to the iPad (an amazing piece of product placement from Apple!).
The paintings show a real economy of visual expression – and manage to look entirely different from close and afar. Press reviews have been mixed, with some feeling that the scale of the exhibition diminishes its impact – and others questioning the way it hangs together. Reports on Twitter were more positive, with Paul Smith, Corrie Corfield and Tracey Thorn all describing the “joy” it inspired in them – and Natasha Waddon saying that “Hockney was amazing. His work makes me so happy.”
Whatever your opinion, it is undeniably a unique show that will have people talking for a long time to come. If you were lucky enough to experience this exhibition for yourself, let us know what you thought in the comments below or on Twitter!
It’s been a particularly cultural week for us at London Living, as we also went down to experience the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern. And experience is certainly the word which sums up the exhibition best. It is a throbbing, pulsating, visceral experience which caused London Living’s heart to beat a little bit faster.
Yayoi Kusama is one of Japan’s best-known living artists. In the 1970s, she became a voluntary in-patient of the hospital that has been her home to the present day. This environment has allowed her to explore multi-part installations and confined areas, and it is these installations that presented the most powerful and expressive experiences at the show.
These include the ‘One Thousand Boats Show’, ‘I’m Here, but Nothing’ and the ‘Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life’. The ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ was absolutely mesmerising; the changing lights and mirrored walls created a feeling of wonder and, as Kusama puts it, ‘the brilliance of life’.
If you haven’t been yet, it is on until 5th June and comes highly recommended.
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