22 February – 3 December 2023
Lightroom, King’s Cross
Designed by 59 Productions in collaboration with Haworth Tompkins, Lighroom in King’s Cross is a sister space to the award-winning Bridge Theatre. This is London’s newest home for artist-led shows and the current host of the immersive exhibition “David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away)”. To celebrate David Hockney’s 86th Birthday on 9th July, Lightroom reveals a portrait created by chalk artist, Julian Beever, outside the entrance to Lightroom. David Hockney, one of the world’s most acclaimed and popular living artists, created his landmark launch show for Lightroom which has now welcomed more than 200,000 visitors since opening in February this year, and is extending bookings with tickets on sale until 3rd December 2023.
“Bigger & Closer” is a retrospective journey through Hockney’s illustrious 60-year career. The exhibition is divided into six “chapters”, each showcasing a different era or aspect of Hockney’s work. It employs large-scale projections and high-end audio equipment to create an immersive, cinematic experience. Hockney’s voice, recorded from old interviews, echoes throughout the space, providing commentary and reflections on his work and artistic philosophy. This gives the exhibition a deeply personal touch, as if Hockney himself is guiding the audience through his life and career.
However, “Bigger & Closer” is not a traditional work of art. Instead, it is a new type of cinematic experience, in which images are projected onto enormous screens that engulf the viewer from all sides, and even underfoot. This innovative approach is in line with Hockney’s long-standing fascination with technology and its potential applications in art. Over the years, Hockney has experimented with various technologies, from photocopiers and fax machines to instant cameras and iPads, in his artistic practice. It is like watching an immersive documentary of Hockney’s art. This placement provides a smooth transition from discussing the exhibition’s format to describing the viewer’s experience. It emphasizes the immersive and documentary-like nature of the exhibition, reinforcing the unique and innovative approach taken by Hockney in this exhibition.
Despite the grand scale of the exhibition, the visual quality of the artworks is maintained. The images, each larger than a bus, are not pixelated or distorted, but appear as clear and vibrant as the original artworks. This is particularly effective in the section about Hockney’s pictures of swimming pools, where his depictions of water patterns flicker across the audience’s heads and feet, creating a sense of immersion. “Bigger & Closer” is not just a technical accomplishment, but also a moving reflection on Hockney’s career. The exhibition strikes a ruminative, gentle note, as the audience listens to Hockney’s reflections on his past achievements and his views on the shortcomings of linear perspective.
The exhibition presents a unique opportunity for visitors to perceive the world through Hockney’s artistic lens. It showcases his experimental approach to perspective and photography, his intriguing Polaroid collages, and his innovative iPad drawings. The journey of the show transports us from the vibrant streets of LA to the serene landscapes of Yorkshire and Normandy, culminating in an animated reimagining of his stage designs for the opera house. Unlike typical immersive experiences, this exhibition is distinguished by the active involvement of Hockney himself, rendering it a significant and innovative piece of work. The inclusion of Hockney’s voice, sharing his thoughts and observations, creates an intimate atmosphere, as if the audience is experiencing the world through his eyes.
Despite initial skepticism, the exhibition proves to be captivating and serves as a fitting tribute to Hockney’s relentless energy and passion for art. The David Hockney exhibition is the result of a three-year collaboration between the artist and the creators of Lightroom. It is the first in a series of original shows planned by the venue, each made with leading artists and innovators, promising to be visually astonishing, alive with sound, and rich in new perspectives. This extended run offers an unprecedented opportunity for art lovers to immerse themselves in the work of one of the world’s most popular living artists, still innovating and creating beauty and awe.
Richard Slaney, CEO of Lightroom, expressed his delight at the audience’s response to the show. “We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the response to the show from audiences since opening and are delighted to be able to extend bookings through to October,” said Slaney, “It’s wonderful to see such a cross-generational audience experiencing the show together.”
“David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away)” is more than just an exhibition; it’s an immersive experience that invites visitors to step into the world of one of the most influential artists of our time. It’s a testament to Hockney’s innovative spirit, his mastery of various mediums, and his ability to continually push the boundaries of what’s possible in art. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Hockney or new to his work, this exhibition would bring you profound joy and relaxation.
由59 Productions與Haworth Tompkins合作設計的Lightroom位於倫敦國王十字區，是屢獲殊榮的Bridge Theatre的姐妹空間。作為倫敦最新的藝術家主導展覽場地，Lightroom目前正在舉辦沉浸式展覽《大衛·霍克尼：更大更近（而不是更小更遠）》。為了慶祝大衛·霍克尼在7月9日的86歲生日，Lightroom在入口外展示了由粉筆藝術家Julian Beever創作的肖像。大衛·霍克尼是世界上最受讚譽和最受歡迎的在世藝術家之一，他為Lightroom創建了標誌性的系列首展，自今年2月開幕以來已經吸引了超過200,000名訪客，由於該展覽引起了觀眾強烈的共鳴並獲得了熱烈的迴響，因此該展展期將延長到2023年12月3日。
Edited 編輯 x Michelle Yu 余小悦