"No. 763", 29th March 2021

Chronicling Life in Normandy

What does the world really look like? I know it doesn’t look like photographs. The camera sees geometrically, and we must see psychologically. So what does it really look like? I think you have to draw it.

Hockney’s recent images of the French countryside are the focus of solo shows at Gray in New York and L.A. Louver in Venice, California. Both galleries display prints made from original line drawings, including landscapes and views of the pervasive local 17th-century vernacular architecture. Warm interior scenes round out these depictions of the crisp Spring in Normandy. Also on view at L.A. Louver are the frieze prints Autour de la Maison, Été and Autour de la Maison, Hiver (both 2019): forty-foot-long panoramas detailing various seasonal moments in the intricate landscape

"Autour de la Maison, Hiver" Inkjet print on paper Edition of 15

Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long

On May 1, on digital billboards in five international metropolises—London, Los Angeles, New York, Toyko, and Seoul—Hockney’s public art collaboration with CIRCA and Times Square Arts launches. The 2 ½ minute–long video, created on his iPad, animates the early morning sun’s radiance over a green field and distant mountains and ends with a message from the artist scrawled across a yellow-saturated screen: Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long.Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long Piccadilly Lights, London

For the month of May the video is screened daily after dark: at Piccadilly Lights in London, on Europe’s largest screen; in New York’s Times Square, as part of the long-running Midnight Moment public art series; At Pendry West Hollywood; at Yunika Vision in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district; at Coex K-POP Square in Seoul’s Gangnam district.

What does the world look like? We have to take time to see its beauty. That’s what I hope my work will encourage people to do when they see it on the large screens.

"Remember you cannot look at death or the the sun for very long" Yunika Vision, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Drawing from Life continues

The exhibition David Hockney: Drawing from Life continues at the Morgan Library in New York. “Drawing is both the start and the heart of Hockney’s genius,” Willard Spiegelman writes in the Wall Street Journal, adding particular praise for the recent portraits of friends: “They have all profited from the Old Master’s attention and they have inspired him. The collaboration says something about our shared humanity as well as an artist’s fecundity.”

Drawing from Life at The Morgan Library, New York

Spring Cannot be Cancelled

Spring Cannot Be Cancelled
, a book of conversations and correspondences between Hockney and his longtime interlocuter and friend, Martin Gayford, lands in bookstores to coincide with the Artist's The Arrival of Spring exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts, London.

The arrival of spring in Normandy … takes about three months, and I think it’s the most exciting thing nature has to offer in this part of the world. 

The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020

I drew on the iPad when it first came out, in 2010. … In 2018, Jonathan Wilkinson, my technical assistant, said he could make a new app with a mathematician in Leeds. It was rather good, and then I got six or seven new brushes custom made. I did say I was drawing on the iPad, but actually I’m painting on it.

David Hockney in his studio, Normandy

Marking the full blossoming of spring in 2021, Hockney’s The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 opens at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in late May. An exhibition of 116 images “painted” on his iPad during the Covid-19 pandemic, the exhibition offers a hopeful vision of nature’s irrepressible beauty through the passage of the seasons in Normandy. In the artist’s own description: “When the lockdown came … we were in a house in the middle of a four-acre field full of fruit trees. I could concentrate on one thing, I did at least one drawing a day with the constant changes going on, all around the house. I kept drawing the winter trees, and then the small buds that became the blossom, and then the full blossom. Then the leaves started, and eventually the blossoms fell off leaving a small fruit and leaves, this process took about two weeks, all the time I was getting better at my mark making on the screen, eventually doing, à la Monet, the water lilies in the pond.” Printed on paper for exhibition, the images demonstrate Hockney’s adaptation of new technologies to expand his painting practice, striking an optimistic note about humanity’s ability to confront change and envision fresh possibilities. The Arrival of Spring travels to Bozar, Brussels, in October, as part of a double exhibition along with David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection.

The Joy of Nature travels to Houston

The Joy of Nature at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature, an exhibition exploring the expressive affinity of Hockney and Van Gogh as landscape artists, travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. 

Glyndebourne on Tour's revival of The Rake's Progress

Glyndebourne On Tour revives Hockney’s 1975 stage design for Igor Stravinsky’s 1951 opera The Rake’s Progress, directed by John Cox, whom Hockney worked with on the original production.

David Hockney. A Year in Normandie

Installation views of the exhibition: David Hockney. A Year in Normandie, at Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris

Hockney visits the Bayeux Tapestry in Normandy, the eleventh century embroidered depiction of events leading to the Norman conquest of England and is inspired to paint a 260-foot-wide frieze depicting the changing seasons in Normandy on his iPad. Beginning in October, the iPad Painting goes on exhibition in Paris at the Musée de l’Orangerie.

Die Welt Artist’s Edition

Hockney is invited to design the annual artist’s edition of the German newspaper Die Welt, published on May 20th. Cornelius Tittel, curator of the series, says of Hockney’s iPad-painted images of springtime for the special edition,“this homage to freedom and to the radiant nature of life in this particular year is a special honor for us.”

Die Welt Artist’s Edition by David Hockney A showing of recent work by David Hockney, throughout the print edition of Die Welt, 20 May 2021

David Hockney: People, Places & Things in Minneapolis

People, Places & Things, a career-length retrospective opens in mid-December at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The survey includes paintings, works on paper, iPad paintings, and theater designs.



  • Hockney–Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Feb 21–Jun 20).
  • David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (May 23–Sep 26).
  • David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020, Bozar. Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (Oct 4, 2021–Jan 19, 2022).
  • David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection, 1954-2017, Bozar. Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (Oct 5, 2021–Jan 20, 2022).
  • David Hockney: A Year in Normandie, Musée de l'Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris (Oct 10, 2021–Feb 12, 2022).
  • David Hockney: People, Places and Things, Walker Art Center. Minneapolis (Dec 16, 2021–Aug 19, 2022).



  • Spring Cannot Be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy, by David Hockney and Martin Gayford, London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Die Welt Artist’s Edition by David Hockney, May 20, 2021: Axel Springer Publishing Group
  • On Photography / sur la photographie, by David Hockney, Paris: Galerie Lelong & Co. 2021
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