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David Hockney & Tintoretto

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Natalie Maria Roncone considers David Hockney's ongoing dialogue with the art of the past, examining similarities between Hockney's mural scale painting Bigger Trees near Warter (2007) and Tintoretto's Crucifixion (1565) at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice.

Roncone writes: "Hockney is, by temperament, chronically hungry and omnivorous. One sees him devouring his way through visual history past and present, gorging on images from Ingres, Rubens, Claude and Picasso. While some artists and thinkers today are promoting an art of utopian purity, one that requires shutting a door between art and life, Hockney’s appetite takes him in the opposite, though really no less utopian direction. He strives to open everything up, to bring — to squeeze —the whole shebang into art: high – low; old – new; savagery – grace. In this way his work exemplifies a laborious, pieced-together, piled-up, revision-intensive methodology. Indeed, far from being an impulsive, gut-spilling artist, he is a deliberator with every painting a controlled experiment."

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