David Hockney's Winter Timber

Year: 2009
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 274.3 x 609.6 cm
Last Realised: £19.3 Million
David Hockney’s Winter Timber. An oil on canvas landscape painting of a roadway next to a path of cut down logs.Image © Christie’s / Winter Timber © David Hockney 2009
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David Hockney

David Hockney

631 works

David Hockney's Winter Timber is a compelling exploration of the winter landscape, rendered with a striking use of colour and form. Created in oil on canvas, this work depicts a vividly coloured scene of cut trees lying beside a forest road, set against a backdrop of leafless blue trees. The composition is characterised by its bold, contrasting colours and dynamic lines, which draw the viewer into the depth of the forest. Winter Timber is significant within Hockney's oeuvre for its innovative approach to traditional landscape painting, reflecting his ongoing engagement with the natural world and his distinctive visual language.


Winter Timber: Meaning & Analysis

Hockney's Winter Timber examines the interaction between natural beauty and human intervention within a winter landscape. This painting’s focal point is the orderly stacks of logs, rendered in warm hues that contrast with the surrounding cool tones of the forest. These colour choices are not only aesthetic but serve to highlight the juxtaposition between the organic and the manufactured, inviting viewers to contemplate the human impact on nature.

The linear arrangement of the logs and the forest path introduces a dynamic rhythm to the composition, guiding the viewer’s eye through the painting. This structured pattern contrasts with the seemingly chaotic, leafless trees that dominate the background.

The use of light in Winter Timber further enhances its realism and depth. The light filters through the trees, casting long shadows and highlighting the contours of the logs, adding a three-dimensional quality to the work. This play of light and shadow contributes to the painting's overall mood, evoking the crisp, clear atmosphere of a winter day.

Winter Timber addresses the intersection of nature and industry, raising questions about deforestation and ecological balance. However, Hockney's portrayal is not solely critical; it also celebrates the harmony that can be found in this interaction. The painting suggests a nuanced view of human engagement with nature, recognising both the beauty and the consequences of this relationship.


Reflections on Hockney’s Winter Timber

Winter Timber stands out in Hockney’s oeuvre for its audacious use of colour and its innovative composition, reflecting his unceasing quest to redefine landscape painting. The contrast between the natural blue of the trees and the vivid purples and greens of the ground and logs is visually arresting, challenging traditional perceptions of the winter landscape. This unconventional palette not only draws attention to the scene but also invites viewers to engage with the landscape in a new and unexpected way.

Winter Timber has been noted for its departure from conventional representations of nature. The painting’s vibrant colours and dynamic forms infuse the landscape with a sense of movement and energy. This approach aligns with Hockney's broader practice of pushing the boundaries of how landscapes are perceived and depicted.

Winter Timber Exhibition History

New York, David Hockney: Paintings 2006-2009, PaceWildenstein, October-December 200

New York, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, The Museum of Modern Art, January 2009

London, David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture, Royal Academy of Arts, January 2012-February 2013

Bilbao, David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, January 2012-February 2013

Cologne, David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture, Ludwig Museum, January 2012-February 2013

San Francisco, David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition, de Young Museum, October 2013

Seattle, Pivot Art + Culture, Color & Pattern, April-July 2017


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