Dave Hockney's Garrowby Hill

Year: 2017
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimension: 121.9 x 243.8 cm
Last Realised: £14,093,950
David Hockney’s Garrowby Hill. An oil on canvas landscape painting of a winding road down a countryside. Image © Sotheby's / Garrowby Hill © David Hockney 2017
Jasper Tordoff

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David Hockney

David Hockney

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Garrowby Hill, painted in 2017, is a continuation of David Hockney’s artistic journey and fascination with the Yorkshire landscape. This acrylic on canvas work captures a sweeping view of the countryside, characterised by its vivid colours and dynamic composition. The scene is marked by winding roads, and a sinuous hill, all rendered in Hockney’s distinctive style that combines a bold use of colour with a careful attention to detail. Garrowby Hill exemplifies Hockney's mastery in transforming ordinary rural scenes into extraordinary visual experiences, imbued with both personal and universal resonance.

Garrowby Hill: Meaning & Analysis

Garrowby Hill is a masterful representation of Hockney's artistic journey and techniques. The composition is dominated by a winding road that leads the viewer's eye through the rolling hills and vibrant fields, creating a sense of movement and depth. The use of exaggerated curves and bold, varied hues underscores the dynamic and almost surreal quality of the landscape.

Hockney’s choice of bright, contrasting colours – vivid greens, rich reds, and deep blues – imbues the scene with a sense of vitality and immediacy. This palette is characteristic of Hockney's later works, where he embraced a more expressive and less naturalistic approach to colour. The fields are depicted with a variety of patterns and textures, suggesting the diverse agricultural activity of the region and adding a layer of complexity to the visual narrative.

Garrowby Hill explores the interplay between nature and human intervention. The meticulously arranged fields and the winding road signify the human impact on the landscape, while the rolling hills and expansive sky evoke a timeless, almost mythical quality. This duality is a recurring theme in Hockney's work, where he often juxtaposes the natural and the man-made to highlight their interconnectedness.

The painting also reflects Hockney's deep engagement with the history of landscape painting, drawing on influences from both Romanticism and modern abstraction. By merging these stylistic elements, Hockney creates a work that is both a homage to tradition and a bold statement of contemporary artistic practice.

Reflections on Garrowby Hill

Garrowby Hill has garnered significant acclaim within Hockney's career, showcasing his innovative approach to landscape painting. The painting's vibrant energy and emotional depth have resonated with critics and audiences alike, cementing its status as a key work in Hockney's exploration of the Yorkshire landscape.

The artwork's reception has been overwhelmingly positive, praised for its dynamic composition and bold use of colour. It has been featured in major exhibitions, highlighting its importance within Hockney's oeuvre and its contribution to contemporary landscape art. The painting exemplifies Hockney's ability to capture the essence of a place, transforming the familiar into the extraordinary.

Garrowby Hill offers insights into Hockney's artistic philosophy and his connection to the natural world. It serves as a testament to his belief in the transformative power of art, encouraging viewers to see the beauty and complexity in everyday scenes.

Garrowby Hill Exhibition History

London, David Hockney: A Retrospective, The Royal Academy of Arts, January 2012

New York, David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture 2012, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 2012

Paris, David Hockney: Landscapes, Centre Pompidou, October 2012

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