Is a Hockney painting still a Hockney painting when it’s created on an iPad?
David Hockney’s latest exhibition, A Bigger Picture, is made up of more than 150 colourful landscapes of the Yorkshire countryside, 51 of which are blown up prints created using an iPad app.
Printed on paper, the iPad pieces, catchily titled The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011, hang in the Royal Academy’s largest gallery, complementing a huge oil painting spanning 32 canvases.
Marco Livingstone, curator of the exhibition, says that Hockney has been using the technology frequently since he discovered that pictures made on the iPad could be enlarged to three metres in size without pixelation or a change in colour.
Although limitless copies of the iPad prints can be made, each picture has only been printed out once. Livingstone says that they could be printed out more times in the future, meaning that they could be exhibited in a number of galleries worldwide at once.
Hockney is so keen on the iPad that another room hosts five of the devices, showing 15 of the works Hockney used them to create.
The British artist has never been afraid to experiment with technology, playing with fax machines and photography in the 80s. In fact, alongside the iPad prints at the Royal Academy, he is also exhibiting digital video work.
Just as his large oil paintings are presented on grids of multiple canvases; nine digital screens simultaneously show videos of different parts of the same scene to create one image.
Mainly close ups of leaves in the wind, or country roads in various seasons, Hockney filmed the works using nine digital cameras set in a grid which he attached to his car while driving slowly.
David Hockney: A Bigger Picture will run from 21 January - 9 April at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London W1J