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when you think of david hockney, you might think of his pop art paintings of california swimming pools.

david hockney | a bigger splash | acrylic on canvas | 1967

tate collection | london, united kingdom

photo credit tate

and, david hockney RA: a bigger picture, a blockbuster exhibition at the royal academy of arts (RA) in london from 21 january-9 april 2012, includes a painting with a swimming pool.

david hockney | mulholland drive: the road to the studio | acrylic on canvas | 1980

reproduction | david hockney RA: the bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

original | los angeles county museum of art (lacma) | los angeles, CA

photo credit lacma

but, david hockney is also a landscape artist.  after showing bigger trees near warter, a 50 canvas painting, at the summer exhibition 2007, the RA offered hockney all of the main floor galleries for a landscape painting exhibition.

david hockney | bigger trees near warter | oil on 50 canvases + two collages of 50 color photographs | 2007

tate collection | london, united kingdom

photo credits (c) david hockney and tate

the exhibition features over 150 works, most created between 2004 and 2011.  although it is an exhibition, instead of a retrospective, a bigger picture includes a survey of earlier landscapes, painted from 1956-1998, that offer an opportunity to reconsider hockney as a landscape artist, instead of a pop artist.

hockney’s work reflects the influences of past artistic movements, such as cubism, impressionism, or fauvism.

hockney also uses optical tools to experiment with the representation of space, the manipulation of perspective, the use of color, and the variation of technique.  the camera is one of hockney’s favorite optical tools.  he photographed the grand canyon in 1982, but didn’t use the photographs to create grand canyon with ledge, arizona, 1982, collage #2, a 60 photograph collage, until 1986.


david hockney | grand canyon with ledge, arizona, 1982 | collage of 60 color photographs | 1986

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

he described the process of making collages from the grand canyon photographs as a ‘cubist idea.’

‘when you put one piece of paper on top of another…
you put two pieces of time together…
therefore, make[ing] a space.

i thought i was making time.
then, you realize you’re making space.
then, you realize time and space are the same thing.’ 

-david hockney

in 1998, hockney painted a bigger grand canyon from the collages and other studies, and a closer grand canyon from memory.  the multiple viewpoint perspective in both paintings again references cubism.  the grand canyon paintings also reference cubism by translating the grid pattern from the photo collages into a multiple canvas format.  this becomes the standard format for hockney’s large scale works.

david hockney | a bigger grand canyon | oil on 60 canvases | 1998

national gallery of australia (nga) |  canberra, ACT, australia

photo credit nga

david hockney | a closer grand canyon | oil on 60 canvases | 1998

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

louisiana museum of modern art | humlebaek, denmark

photo credit (c) david hockney
secret knowledge:  rediscovering the lost techniques of the old masters, a book by hockney published in 2001, explores how optical tools, such as the camera, influenced painting composition for over six centuries.
photo credit amazon.com

but, hockney rejects the use of optical tools when he decides to paint the yorkshire landscapes in the exhibition from direct observation.  hockney’s landscapes could define yorkshire like impressionist landscapes defined the south of france.  like monet’s paintings, hockney’s yorkshire landscapes are studies of changing seasonal and light conditions.  sometimes, he paints the same location, such as the thixendale trees, at different times of the year.

david hockney | three trees near thixendale, spring 2008 | oil on 8 canvases | 2008

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

david hockney | three trees near thixendale, summer 2007 | oil on 8 canvases | 2007

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

david hockney | three trees near thixendale, autumn 2008 | oil on 8 canvases | 2008

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

david hockney | three trees near thixendale, winter 2007 | oil on 8 canvases | 2007

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney
other times, he paints the same subject, such as blossoming hawthorne trees, in different locations at the same time of the year.


david hockney | hawthorne blossom near rudston | oil on two canvases | 2008

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

david hockney | the big hawthorne | oil on 9 canvases | 2008

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

david hockney | may blossom on the roman road | oil on 8 canvases | 2009

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

hockney’s yorkshire landscapes are also technical studies.  he experiments with impressionist or fauvist painting techniques, such as pointellist seurat dots, swirling van gogh brushstrokes, or colorful matisse stripes.  and, hockney also experiments with technological tools.  the arrival of spring in woldgate, east yorkshire in 2011 includes a series of 52 prints, drawn on an iPad, that capture the transition from winter to spring along a country road near his home.  as he was drawing, hockney adjusted the color and his technique so that the drawings could be enlarged and printed.

david hockney | the arrival of spring (untitled iPad drawing, 12 april 2011, no. 1) | iPad drawing printed on paper | 2011

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney
the series also includes a 32 canvas oil painting.  the brighter colors, simpler brushstrokes, and bolder composition reflect hockney’s iPad drawing techniques.

david hockney | the arrival of spring in woldgate, east yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) | oil on 32 canvases | 2011

david hockney RA: a bigger picture | 21 jan-9 apr 2012 | royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) david hockney

if you are in london, david hockney RA: a bigger picture is a ‘must see’ exhibition!

click here or here or here or here to read reviews of the exhibition.

one of the many reasons that my husband, bob, and i love the capital hotel in london.

the domed staircase leading to our favorite deluxe rooms at the capital hotel | london, united kingdom

photo credit wego.com

not to mention the nina campbell designed interiors.  or, the convenient location in SW3 between harrod’s and harvey nicks.

but, it’s the friendly, helpful staff, including clive, the head concierge, graham, the deputy head concierge, or chris, the doorman, that make us want to return every time that we visit london.

do you have a favorite hotel in london?

john dickinson (1920-1982)

‘one of the most acclaimed designers of the 20th century returns.’

with a limited edition furniture collection produced by sutherland,

and introduced at the shears & window showroom during design san francisco 2012.

the john dickinson collection

designed by john dickinson | produced by sutherland | represented by shears & window

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

‘dickinson’s designs demonstrate his ability to both startle and amuse the viewer in a constant pursuit of originality.’

darrin alfred, curatorial associate of architecture and design, san francisco museum of modern art (SFMOMA)

sutherland’s advertising campaign to launch the john dickinson collection could only be described as original.  the campaign featured the etruscan, hoofed, and footed tables galloping across the homepage of the sutherland website.

the etruscan, hoofed, and footed tables

designed by john dickinson | produced by sutherland

photo credits sutherland

sutherland acquired the rights to produce the limited edition collection from the original molds and dickinson’s original furniture.  the collection, which currently contains twelve pieces, will be stamped with the sutherland logo to avoid confusion with dickinson’s original furniture.  originally, dickinson produced the furniture from white plaster of paris, reinforced with metal rods.  but, sutherland is reproducing the dickinson collection from glass fiber reinforced concrete, which can be used in either interior or exterior installations.  david sutherland’s texas showrooms previously represented john dickinson’s furniture.  when dickinson died in 1982, he and sutherland were already collaborating on producing the plaster furniture in a more durable material.

the large six legged african, small african or medium african, and rope tie tables

designed by john dickinson | produced by sutherland

photo credits sutherland

the tree stump pedestal, twig mirror, and twig lamp

designed by john dickinson | produced by sutherland

photo credits sutherland

the footed and dome lamps

designed by john dickinson | produced by sutherland

photo credits sutherland

the pieces he [dickinson] designed that are considered ‘iconic’ are those that were made in large numbers:  a tin-skirted table, or an african-inspired three-legged stool.’

louis bofferding, new york antiques dealer

so iconic, that whenever they become available, dickinson originals sell for high prices in vintage furniture galleries or at auction.

john dickinson | galvanized tin and brass side table | model 107 | 1970’s

US$32000 | paul marra design | los angeles, CA

photo credit 1st dibs

john dickinson | galvanized tin and brass console table | model 57 | 1970’s

sold for US$60000 | bonham’s new york | sale 15282 lot 2210 | 18 june 2007

photo credit artnet

john dickinson galvanized tin and brass console table in interior designer steven volpe’s san francisco, CA loft

photo credit william abranowicz

john dickinson | african side table | painted plaster | 1970’s

sold for US$30000 | christie’s new york | sale 2492 lot 306 | 17 december 2011

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and christie’s

john dickinson | pair of african tables | painted plaster | circa 1975

sold for US$20000 | sotheby’s new york | sale NO8680 lot 144 | 16 december 2010

photo credit sotheby’s

african side table in the living room of john dickinson’s legendary san francisco, CA converted firehouse

photo credit fred lyon for house & garden magazine | 1972

then, of course, there’s the infamous million dollar decorators episode where san francisco interior designer suzanne tucker purchases a john dickinson african table from epoca at the san francisco fall antiques show, and then graciously allows los angeles interior designer jeffrey alan marks, who wants the table for his own home, to purchase it instead.  but, sometimes even experienced interior designers make mistakes.  the US$16785 table is really an end table not [a] coffee table, so it was too small.

maybe the large six legged african table from sutherland’s john dickinson collection would be a better size.  dickinson used the six legged african table in his own home, but never offered it for sale.

african

african side table

designed by john dickinson | produced by sutherland

small 17″ diameter x 20″ high  | medium 22.5″ diameter x 26″ high

6 legged african

large six legged african table

designed by john dickinson | produced by sutherland

36″ diameter x 19″ high

photo credit innerspace | lisa walsh

many design insiders today still consider john dickinson the most innovative and original american interior and furniture designer of the 20th-century.’

diane dorrans saeks, author

yet, he is not as well known as some of the other top california decorators from the 1960’s or 1970’s, such as michael taylor or tony duquette.  but, like taylor or duquette, some of the furniture that dickinson designed then is still being produced now.

etruscan side chairs

designed by john dickinson | produced by randolph & hein

photo credit randolph & hein
some of the furniture that dickinson designed during the 1970’s for randolph & hein or macy*s is in the permanent collection of the SFMOMA, which owns 250 pieces of dickinson furniture.  the SFMOMA exhibited a retrospective of dickinson’s work in 2003-2004.  some of dickinson’s designs, such as the 25 piece bone furniture collection that he designed for macy*s in the late 1970’s, were too avant garde to be commercially successful.

bone floor lamp | 1978

bone cigarette table | 1977

bone table lamp | 1977

designed by john dickinson for macy*s | SFMOMA | san francisco, CA

photos credits SFMOMA
yet, even dickinson’s less successful designs could be considered influential.  could dickinson’s bone furniture collection have inspired the honeycomb mirror, introduced by ironies at the kneedler|fauchere showroom during design san francisco 2012?

honeycomb mirror | cast resin

designed and produced by ironies | represented by kneedler|fauchere

photo credits innerspace | lisa walsh

in admiration of one of my favorite artists
helen frankenthaler 
1928-2011

‘the landscapes were in my arms as i did it.’

-helen frankenthaler

helen frankenthaler | mountains and sea | oil and charcoal on canvas | 1952

national gallery of art | washington, DC

photo credit wsj

helen frankenthaler | mountain storm | oil on canvas | 1955

sold for US$511,500 | sale 1301 lot 26 | christie’s new york | 11 november 2003

photo credit christie’s

helen frankenthaler | jacob’s ladder | oil on canvas | 1957

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit moma

helen frankenthaler | saturn revisited | acrylic on canvas | 1964

sold for US$662,500 | sale 2048 lot 2 | christie’s new york | 12 november 2008

photo credit christie’s

helen frankenthaler | glow II | acrylic on canvas | 1968

sold for US$622,400 | sale 1835 lot 165 | christie’s new york | 17 may 2007

photo credit christie’s

helen frankenthaler | chairman of the board | synthetic polymer paint and felt tip marker on canvas | 1971

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit moma

helen frankenthaler | nature abhors a vacuum | acrylic on canvas | 1973

national gallery of art | washington, DC

photo credit national gallery of art

helen frankenthaler | leveling | acrylic on canvas | 1973

sold for US$698,500 | sale NO8792 lot 171 | sotheby’s new york | 10 november 2011

photo credit sotheby’s

helen frankenthaler | cloud harbor | acrylic on canvas | 1974

sold for US$601,000 | sale NO8364 lot 242 | sotheby’s new york | 15 november 2007

photo credit mutual art

helen frankenthaler | nadir rising | acrylic on canvas | 1974

sold for US$769,000 | sale NO8442 lot 242 | sotheby’s new york | 15 may 2008

photo credit artnet

helen frankenthaler | royal fireworks | acrylic on canvas | 1975

sold for US$818,500 | sale 2481 lot 711 | christie’s new york | 9 november 2011

photo credit christie’s

helen frankenthaler | springscape | acrylic on canvas | 1975

sold for US$578,500 | sale 2220 lot 225 | christie’s new york | 11 november 2009

photo credit christie’s

helen frankenthaler | warming trend | acrylic on canvas | 2002

kemper museum of contemporary art | kansas city, MO

photo credit kemper art

wouldn’t you love to see a retrospective of her work?

click here or here or here to read more about helen frankenthaler.

color authority pantone, named tangerine tango, an energetic shade of red orange, the color of the year for 2012.  pantone, a division of x-rite, provides professional color standards for the design industries.

tangerines

photo by the guardian

tangerine tango | pantone color 17-1463

photo by pantone

you could consider tangerine either a classic, or a trendy color.

classic

orange birkin handbag | hermes

photo credit habitually chic

trendy

orange patent vamp sandal | jimmy choo

photo credit nordstrom

for interior design, i like color that whispers, instead of shouts.

in either expected…

pillows

living room | fifth avenue residence | new york, NY | interior design by shelton, mindel & associates

photo credit architectural digest

art

breakfast room | private residence | kansas city, KS | interior design by sally sirkin lewis

photo credit architectural digest

…or, surprising accents.

draperies

jdg studio | jeffers design group | san francisco, CA

photo credit drew altizar

shelves

lounge | private residence | atherton, CA | interior design by steven volpe design

photo credit architectural digest

furniture

hall | lower fifth avenue residence | new york, NY | interior design by steven gambrel

custom bar by paul benson

photo credit s r gambrel

furniture

dining area | loft | san francisco, CA | interior design by ken fulk

reverse painted glass tabletop by paige glass

photo by philip harvey

do you like surprises?