“Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020”, organized by Sakıp Sabancı Museum with the support of Akbank, opened on May 11 and presented 116 iPad paintings announcing the arrival of spring.
David Hockney, one of the most inspirational artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, made the paintings on his iPad at his home in Normandy during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The iPad paintings in The Arrivals of Spring, Normandy, 2020 depict a landscape full of fruit trees, bushes, flower beds, ponds and rivers, fields and distant hills, depicting the annual spring cycle from bare trees to buds, flowers and profuse green foliage . The exhibition is a celebration of spring and reminds us of the wonders of nature and its constant renewal.
At a press conference on May 9, Sakıp Sabancı Museum Director Nazan Ölçer said: “The 20th anniversary of Sakıp Sabancı Museum brings works by one of the most important artists of our time, Hockney, to Turkey for the first time. ”
“Throughout the long history of mankind’s surrender to the frightening power of nature, spring has always been the symbol of rebirth, of emerging from darkness. With spring now the darkness is being lightened, living beings are being awakened from their long sleep; Mother Earth, origin of all life, spreads seeds of fertility; and this cycle goes on forever. With his lifelong wisdom and harnessing of 21st century technology, Hockney has faithfully chronicled every moment of nature’s reawakening throughout the seasons and invites us to witness a springtime ritual in The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020. Essentially the story of a season from start to finish, the exhibition almost feels like a blessing. With this show, David Hockney reminds us of the wonders of nature, the constant and unstoppable renewal of the cycle of life, and his oft-repeated theme: “Love life”. I hope that this exhibition, which celebrates the rebirth of nature and spring, will be a source of hope and joy for all of us after an immensely difficult two-year period of global lockdown that has seen us all cut off from the real world.” he added.
Edith Devaney, the curator of The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 exhibitions, thanked Ölçer and her team for making Sakıp Sabancı Museum the third museum venue to host the exhibition, which was held at the Royal Academy of Arts then took place at Bozar in Brussels.
Hockney is regarded by critics and historians as a pivotal artist of the 20th and 21st centuries. The mass fascination with Hockney makes him a phenomenon in the art world. He has always pursued his own artistic interests and many curiosities. In doing so, he ignored trends and turned to his past and his deep knowledge and interest in art history, which is often expressed in his artworks. He believed that his use of technology was about discovering new ways of painting, although his interest in technology has sometimes been misinterpreted. In an interview, he said that Van Gogh and Monet would love the iPad for the same reasons he did.
In his own words, Hockney is an artist who has previously depicted “the coming of spring”. In 2011, in Yorkshire, he produced work for the first time using the iPad, which was shown in the exhibition “A Bigger Picture” at the Royal Academy of Arts. This was Hockney’s first work created with this new tool.
This time in 2013 he took up the same theme, depicting spring in a series of charcoal on paper works in Yorkshire. In 2020 he decided to capture spring in Normandy, but this time the pandemic started. With the idea of drawing colors more freely and working in layers, he again decided to use the iPad.
Hockney knew that the speed at which one sees a scene, a subject, and captures its salient and fleeting aspects is rapid on the iPad. Also, there was no need to prepare the canvas or mix the paint and then wait for it to dry. He produced 116 images over a period of four months. The sheer beauty of the paintings in Monet’s garden in nearby Giverny was a source of inspiration for Hockney during his time in Normandy. “The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020” gives the viewer a strong sense of the unfolding of time.
The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 runs through July 29.