A colorful new art exhibition has opened in Texas that examines the common ground between artists David Hockney and Vincent van Gogh.
While Van Gogh is Dutch and died in 1890, Hockney is an artist most often associated with California, although he was born in England in 1937. Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature reveals Van Gogh’s unmistakable influence on Hockney’s work through a collection of 57 landscape paintings and drawings by the two artists - 47 of Hockney’s and 10 of Van Gogh's. Inaugurated in 2019 by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, it is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
The Hockney works selected for this exhibition were painted in the 2000s in Yorkshire Wolds in northeastern England, where Hockney returned after almost 40 years in Los Angeles to visit his ailing mother and a terminally-ill friend. There, he executed landscapes en plein air, revealing through observations of the changing seasons how light, space and nature are constantly in flux. These imposing works offer vivid insight into Hockey’s love of nature and expose clear links to Van Gogh’s landscapes, such as Field with Irises near Arles (1888) and Path in the Garden of the Asylum (1890).
Although separated by time and space, the exhibition aims to demonstrate how David Hockney and Vincent van Gogh are united by a shared fascination with nature, bold use of color and experimentation with perspective. While they have each crafted a painterly world that is individual and true to themselves, their work offers immense universal appeal. "Hockney once asked, ‘How can you be bored with nature?’" says Ann Dumas, consulting curator of European art for the museum. "In this exhibition, we discover both artists’ profound love of nature expressed through brilliant color and the capacity to see the world with fresh eyes.”
Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston until 20 June, and further information and the museum's COVID-19 policies can be found on the website here.
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