The Arrival of Spring in 2011 is one of David Hockney's most recognisable print series of recent years. This is a series of iPad paintings that documents the landscape as it changes from 1st January to early June of 2011.
Returning in 2011 to his native Yorkshire, The Arrival of Spring in 2011 prints show Hockney’s much-loved renditions of the Northern landscape. Here he began paying attention to the landscapes that surrounded him, the tree lined roads, the light filled woods and the rolling fields.
Hearing of his return and prolific output on this subject the Royal Academy in London commissioned him to do a blockbuster exhibition which would see thousands of visitors reconnecting with his work.
While the show was dominated by paintings it also included a daring video installation entitled Four Seasons (Woldgate Woods) which saw the artist filming the same part of the woods through winter, spring, summer and autumn to record the changing of light and plant life in a work that recalls his early photo collages.
The talk of the show was undoubtedly Hockney’s iPad paintings however. Presented as prints, one critic called them ‘inescapably dead and bland’ while others marvelled at his ability to master new technology at his advanced age, and to once again push the limits of printmaking by going digital.
The Arrival of Spring in 2011 was originally intended to be a single work of art, including one monumental oil painting and 51 of the iPad drawings as prints. These were later split to form 49 prints at a smaller size in an edition of 25 and a group of 12 in a larger size in an edition of 10.
The digital lines of the iPad mimic those of his etchings and lithographs and yet remain inherently on the surface, along with the brush marks and dots that attempt to bridge the gap between the screen and the canvas.
As with any other of Hockney's series, references to the masters that came before him abound. Whether it’s Monet or Van Gogh, Sickert or Spencer, Hockney appears to be reengaging with the tradition of landscape in order to explore its possibilities in the 21st century.
According to our Mid-Year 2022 Contemporary Print Market Report, The Arrival Of Spring In Woldgate East Yorkshire 4th May 2011 is the top performing print of 2022 in this segment of the market. It went under the hammer on the 3rd of March 2022 at Phillips London, realising a stunning £504,000. Back in 2018, a copy of the same print was sold at the Philips Hong Kong auction house for just £43,611 - that’s a staggering 1055.67% increase in value over a period of just 4 years.
Many of the works from this series show a tree lined road with the characteristic vanishing point perspective that Hockney has favoured in many paintings and drawings before this.
As we move through the series the trees begin to be reborn, their branches filling with leaves and blossom that are so vivid the viewer can almost smell the soft fragrance of spring.