David Hockney’s Immersive Exhibit

David Hockney 1937 - present

David Hockney has always been interested in the use of technology to create art. His book, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, asserts that many of the Old Masters used optical aids, like  camera obscura, camera lucida and other lens and mirror techniques to project an image on to the surface of a painting.


Hockney is a masterful artist, with just paint and a brush, but he has experimented with every new technology that has come along during his long, successful career. He was an early user of the Fax machine, photocopier, Polaroid and Pentax cameras and, in 2009 began to paint and draw, very successfully, with an iPad.


Other artists have used Polaroids and iPads, but Hockney's view of the world is transformative. He used the Polaroid to explore both time and space using photo collages and was able to explain how and what he saw in this video:



"The camera is a medium is what I suddenly realized." he explained. "It's neither an art, a technique, a craft, nor a hobby-it's a tool. It's an extraordinary tool. It's as if I, like most ordinary photographers, had previously been taking part in some long-established culture in which pencils were only used for making dots-there's an obvious sense of liberation that comes when you realize that you can make lines!"


An immersive exhibit of Hockney's works with the camera and the iPad will be on display at the 4-storey Lightroom in London. The exhibit David Hockney: BIGGER & CLOSER (not smaller & further away) has been in the works for three years, with Hockney himself taking part in the collaboration.


The exhibit consists of a 50-minute show, narrated by Hockney, accompanied by a score by American composer Nico Muhly. There is a sequence in the exhibit that shows Hockney creating an iPad painting of his home in Normandy, where he has been living for the past few years.


When asked about the comparisons that will be made to the immersive Van Gogh and Monet exhibits that have been done in recent years, Hockney joked, "They are just using Van Gogh and Monet, and they're dead. They can't add anything to it. Well, I'm still alive, so I can make things work better."


David Hockney: BIGGER & CLOSER (not smaller & further away) will be on exhibit at the Lightroom from February 22 through June 4, 2023.


Please contact us if you would like information about the works of David Hockney available at Surovek Gallery.



Charles M. Falco. The Hockney-Falco Thesis. Wyant College of Optical Sciences. January 18, 2018.
Lael Loewenstein. David Hockney: Secret Knowledge. Variety. February 24, 2002.
January 11, 2023
of 212