The Joy of Nature: Van Gogh’s influence on Hockney explored in new exhibition

David Hockney painting "May Blossom on the Roman Road", 2009, © David Hockney, Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima.

Hockney - Van Gogh. The Joy of Nature explores the unmistakable influence that Vincent van Gogh has had on the work of David Hockney.

Opening next Spring at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the exhibition will centre around Hockney’s monumental Yorkshire landscapes. Some 120 works, including the imposing The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire from the Centre Pompidou collection, will be on display, as well as Hockney’s intimate sketchbooks and his iPad drawings.

From the late 1990s onwards, Hockney started to return from Los Angeles to his native region: the Yorkshire Wolds in Great Britain, where he painted the characteristic countryside. These paintings reveal thorough observations of the changing four seasons and offer a vivid insight into Hockney’s love of nature. There’s a clear link with Van Gogh’s landscapes, such as The Harvest , Field with Irises near Arles and The Garden of Saint Paul’s Hospital (‘Leaf-Fall’)

“Hockney is one of the most inspirational artists of our time.” Says Axel Rüger, Director of the Van Gogh Museum. “Out of pop art, he evolved into a painter of colourful landscapes, in which the influence of Van Gogh is evident. Hockney is an artist who always successfully captures the reality of nature and the people around him, as was Van Gogh. Both artists show how nature appears to them.”

It was in the Yorkshire period that Hockney began experimenting with his iPad, using the device to create scintillating landscapes. Twenty of these iPad drawings will be displayed in large format in the exhibition, which also focuses on Hockney’s sketchbooks. Individual pages will be on display, which bear an unmistakable resemblance to Van Gogh’s drawing style.

The exhibition will also feature videos, watercolours, black-and-white drawings and prints, and a portrait of Hockney, created especially for the exhibition by photographer Rineke Dijkstra.

Hockney once said of Van Gogh: “The world is colourful. It is beautiful, I think. Nature is great. Van Gogh worshipped nature. He might have been miserable, but that doesn’t show in his work. There are always things that will try to pull you down. But we should be joyful in looking at the world.”

Hockney – Van Gogh. The Joy of Nature will be on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, from 1 March to 26 May 2019.

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire (2011) © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt, Collection Société des Amis du Musée national d'Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire (2011) © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt, Collection Société des Amis du Musée national d'Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

David Hockney: More Felled Trees on Woldgate (2008) © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: More Felled Trees on Woldgate (2008) © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Woldgate Woods 26, 27 & 30 July (2006). Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Woldgate Woods 26, 27 & 30 July (2006). Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Woldgate Woods 6 & 9 November (2006) © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Woldgate Woods 6 & 9 November (2006) © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Woldgate Vista, 27 July 2005 © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Woldgate Vista, 27 July 2005 © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Kilham to Langtoft II, 27 July 2005 © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.

David Hockney: Kilham to Langtoft II, 27 July 2005 © David Hockney, Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt.