Liz Hager reviews the exhibition David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, on view through January 20, 2014.
Hager writes: "Color is Hockney’s seductive Siren, and she is both an asset and a liability. Taken as individual compositions, the bright saturated colors delight. Hockney Woods is a cheery place full of daringly-deployed 'tube' greens mixed to a wide range of tints and shades. Hockney uses the complementary antidote, magenta, in just the right amount to soothe those highly-agitated greens. This palette does not replicate the lush Yorkshire countryside so much as symbolize it. You won’t probably recognize this as England. With a color subconscious permanently colonized by Los Angeles, the road to Woldgate Woods runs through Santa Monica... Beyond color, what is striking about the work on display is Hockney’s attention to mark making and decorative pattern. The spirit of Rousseau is unavoidably invoked in some of the more densely foliated landscapes."