10 Facts About David Hockney's The Yosemite Suite

The Yosemite Suite 22 by David HockneyThe Yosemite Suite 22 © David Hockney, 2010
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Reminiscent of his early painted landscapes, David Hockney's digital depiction of the Yosemite National Park reveals his versatility and ingenuity. The Yosemite Suite is a visually striking illustration of the national park's awe-inspiring landscapes.


The series depicts the natural beauty of the Yosemite National Park in California.

The Yosemite Suite 12 by David HockneyThe Yosemite Suite 12 © David Hockney 2010

Hockney moved from London to Los Angeles in 1964, and produced some of his most vividly striking works during his occupancy here. The Yosemite Suite speaks to his enduring attachment to California, as he renders the national park in lively colour with a strong sense of familiarity.


The Yosemite Suite was created with an iPad.

The Yosemite Suite 23 by David HockneyThe Yosemite Suite 23 © David Hockney 2010

The Yosemite Suite was made the year the first iPad was released. Hockney had been using his iPhone to draw, and graduated to the iPad to use its larger surface area and draw en plein air. Using the new technology, Hockney emulated his iconic style, depicting the national park in his distinctive and vibrant palette. Hockney himself remarked: "I just happen to be an artist who uses the iPad, I'm not an iPad artist. It's just a medium. But I am aware of the revolutionary aspects of it, and its implications."


Hockney is an artists known for his love of nature.

The Yosemite Suite 21 by David HockneyThe Yosemite Suite 21 © David Hockney 2010

Across Hockney's life-spanning body of work, he has always depicted landscapes with an unparalleled joyousness. As the artist himself said, "We can only replenish ourselves by looking at nature." With his application of bold and vibrant colour, The Yosemite Suite reveals the restorative power of nature.


The series is testament to Hockney's unique approach to realism.

Pool Made With Paper And Blue Ink For Book by David HockneyPool Made With Paper And Blue Ink For Book © David Hockney 1980

While Hockney is adept in describing figures and landscapes with an almost photographic likeness, his style is characterised by a more graphic approach. As we see in his Swimming Pools, Hockney renders natural elements in a distinctly two-dimensional way, alluding to his physical and emotional attachment to his subject matter.


Many of The Yosemite Suite 'drawings' were printed large-scale.

The Yosemite Suite 22 by David HockneyThe Yosemite Suite 22 © David Hockney 2010

By executing his drawings on the iPad, Hockney allowed for much greater opportunities during the printing process. Contrary to a physical drawing, which might become distorted when enlarged, the quality of his vector-based digital images afforded him more scope to enlarge to a monumental scale.


The Yosemite National Park has been a long-standing source of inspiration for artists.

The Yosemite Suite 15 by David HockneyThe Yosemite Suite 15 © David Hockney 2010

The breathtaking landscape of Yosemite has inspired countless artists over the centuries. From William Zorach's Fauvist rendition of a Yosemite Valley in watercolour, to Hockney's digital rendition of the national park's towering trees, the natural splendour of Yosemite has attracted artists from all over the world.


The series captures some of the most iconic spots in Yosemite.

The Yosemite Suite 1 by David HockneyThe Yosemite Suite 1 © David Hockney 2010

Hockney's digitally rendered series depicts the landmarks of the national park, which would be instantly recognisable to frequenters of Yosemite. By populating some of these drawings with human figures, Hockney perpetuates the grand scale of the natural landscape.


The series forms part of a larger body of works made on Hockney's iPad.

The Arrival Of Spring In Woldgate East Yorkshire 4th May 2011 by David HockneyThe Arrival Of Spring In Woldgate East Yorkshire 4th May 2011 © David Hockney 2010

Hockney has embraced innovations in technology throughout his career, and integrated them into his artistic practice to create innovative works in keeping with his time. Perhaps his favourite technological art medium, Hockney has used his iPad to create many series in the past decade, including his Digital Drawings and The Arrival Of Spring In 2011.


The Yosemite Suite was achieved using the Brushes app.

Rain On The Studio Window by David HockneyRain On The Studio Window © David Hockney 2011

Hockney began using the Brushes app on his iPad in 2011, and was immediately fascinated by the endless opportunities afforded by the technology. In The Yosemite Suite, Hockney uses different effects in the app to create blocks of colour to delineate the landscape, and meticulous detail with his distinctive mark-making. For Hockney, Brushes is the ultimate digital art tool, not merely because "there is no cleaning up needed even if you have drawn all day".


The series recalls Hockney's painted landscapes of the 1980s and 90s.

Pool And Pink Pole by David HockneyImage © Sotheby's / Pool And Pink Pole © David Hockney 1984

In his colourful palette and graphic approach to the landscape, The Yosemite Suite is reminiscent of Hockney's earlier painted landscapes. The series is therefore testament to Hockney's versatility as an artist, as he still captures the quintessential Hockney style when drawing digitally.

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