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David Hockney – iPad Images of Springtime from Quarantine

Contemporary Art

David Hockney – iPad Images of Springtime from Quarantine

David Hockney is in lock-down in Normandy and spends most days in the garden, drawing the spring awakening on his iPad. In a series of letters written to the BBC correspondent he shares how he feels his images can be a respite from quarantine.

“I went on drawing the winter trees that eventually burst into blossom. This is the stage we are in right now. Meanwhile the virus is going mad, and many people said my drawings were a great respite from what was going on.”

Interview with the BBC Arts Editior, Will Gompertz.

You can see the exclusive pictures, and even an animated painting, that Hockney shared in this BBC article.


“The only real things in life are food and love in that order, just like our little dog ruby. I really believe this and the source of art is love.”

Interview with the BBC Arts Editior, Will Gompertz.
David Hockney iPad
David Hockney, image of Springtime in Normandy, painted on an Ipad, shared with the BBC, April 2020.

About David Hockney

Hockney (b. 1937) is one of Britain’s most influential artists. He has spent most of his life living between California and England and was an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s.

A Bigger Splash; David Hockney iPad
David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967, Tate Gallery, London, UK

One of his most famous images is A Bigger Splash, which, like the iPad pictures, is a perfect example of how Hockey likes to create pleasing and relaxing images.

David Hockney, Pearblossom Hwy. 11–18th April 1986, #1 1986
© David Hockney, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Although best known for his painting he was also made prints, photo-collages (for example Pearblossom Highway), and even stage designs for the theater. You can read more about Hockney’s photography in this Daily Art article.

David Hockney iPad
David Hockney, Costume drawing for the character Emperor Alexis in the 1966 production of “Ubu Roi” (absurdist playwright Alfred Jarry) at London’s Royal Court theatre. Image from the David Hockney Foundation.

“A child of the screen”

David Hockney, The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods (Spring 2011, Summer 2010, Autumn 2010, Winter 2010) 2010–11, 36 digital videos synchronised and presented on 36 monitors, gifted by the artist, David Hockney, into the NGV Collection Melbourne.

Hockney’s digital work, such as The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods, has recently adapted to the iPad. He has even been known to make art using his iPhone.

exhi039343; David Hockney iPad
David Hockney, “Untitled, 655” 2011, Collection of the artist © David Hockney.

Hockney a is a child of a screen in a way. Since the beginning he let photographic and cimematic pictures slip into his visual world. No wonder he uses touchscreens now. 

Piotr Policht, Old Master Painting on an iPhone, Daily Art Magazine, December 2016.

(Not) an iPad artist


In 2018, the eighty-one year old Hockney presented a stained glass window at Westminster Abbey for the Queen of England – designed on his iPad. Read more about the theory behind Hockney’s use of the iPad here.

Hockney Queen's Window; David Hockney iPad
British artist David Hockney poses in front of The Queen’s Window, a new stained glass window he has designed, at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain, September 26, 2018. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS.

“I like looking at things, and there’s a lot of ways to look at things …. I’m not an iPad artist. It’s just a medium. But I am aware of the revolutionary aspects of it, and it’s implications.”

Hockney in interview with Anders Kold at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2011.
Hockney in interview with Anders Kold at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2011.

You can read more about Hockney’s world of pictures and its relationship to Art History in this Tate Etc article (2017) and this Daily Art article.

Isla graduated with a first class BA in Classics from the University of Cambridge in 2018. Her specialisms were Art, Archaeology and the Roman poet Ovid. After graduation she spent a year in Japan, where she interned as a curatorial assistant at the Fukuoka Asian Arts Museum. Currently, Isla is studying for a History of Art MA at Birkbeck, London (part-time). Professionally (full-time) Isla  is the Director of the Kent Academies Network University Access Programme and also a teacher at a school in Kent.

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