David Hockney. 220 for 2020. XXL book by David Hockney

David Hockney. 220 for 2020. XXL book by David Hockney

220 paintings made in Normandy in 2020 by David Hockney on an iPad – what more could you need to know!?
Populated by landscapes, trees, skies and buildings changing with the time of day and seasons, it’s an uproarious celebration of nature and individuality.
To celebrate the April launch of David Hockney’s beautiful collection, we’re taking a closer look at four of the paintings contained in this book. Let’s start exploring…

What is David Hockney’s 220 for 2020?

“This was a big theme, and one I could confidently do: the infinite variety of nature.” – David Hockney
In 2019, David Hockney started visiting the region of Normandy in Northern France to draw its bucolic landscapes. His drawings depict the arrival of Spring in a series of precisely captured moments in time. 
These creations speak to David Hockney’s renewed interest in the medieval Bayeux Tapestry (also found in Normandy), as a single pictorial representation of multiple timeframes and stories.
Of course, the end of 2019 saw the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns all over the globe. David Hockney found himself peacefully and productively isolated in the Normandy countryside, with a rare opportunity to focus exclusively on his art.
This was the birth of the 220 for 2020 collection. The artist described being locked-down in his French house in the middle of a four-acre field laden with fruit trees. He did at least one drawing a day, reflecting the constant changes occurring all around him. From drawing the winter trees early in the year, this transformed into small buds and peeping flowers right through to full blossoms, fruits and vivid green leaves. 
Even amidst darker days, the artist’s hopeful voice shines through – reminding us “they can’t cancel the spring.”
The book itself presents 220 (as well as four bonus paintings) from this period, specially printed to match the artist’s unique richness of colour and vibrant detailing. David Hockney also composed a brief introduction discussing the project and how it was a true source of solace during more difficult lockdown months. 
It’s accompanied by a smaller additional volume of ink and watercolour drawings; fascinating facsimiles of 2019 sketchbooks which start in Los Angeles and trace David Hockney’s explorations into the Normandy countryside.
To explore the collection in more detail, let’s take a look at some of the paintings…

Art Edition A: Spilt Ink with Tests
“We’re living in a time when pictures are changing.” – David Hockney
David Hockney has very openly spoken of the technical progression of his iPad art. He describes how each day his mark making on screen grew more confident and more controlled. By the end of the 2020, he was confidently painting the waterlilies in his pond “à la Monet” (a fellow Normandy resident).
In Split Ink with tests, the cross-overs between David Hockney’s explorations into modern media and traditional art-forms are particularly apparent. Pots of red and blue ink lie tipped over on a desk, whilst colour swatches run down the right-hand-side of the composition. It’s an intriguing insight into the artist’s creative process and approach to experimentation through trial, error and repetition.

Art Edition B: Self Portrait in my Living Room
“You have to look and ask questions… about what you are seeing all the time.” – David Hockney
David Hockney is well-known for his portraiture. From sun-drenched figures next to swimming pools to family members, friends and celebrity acquaintances – it’s a genre the artist has returned to repeatedly throughout his career.
This self-portrait, unusually painted in muted browns and blacks, offers a deeply personal insight into the artist’s domestic life. As well as David Hockney gazing directly back at us, we can see the timber-framed roof and shadows thrown from the beautiful lattice window. The dark recesses behind lure the viewer tantalisingly further into the scene…

Art Edition C: Two Chairs and Rain on Window
“What does the world look like? We have to take time to see its beauty.” – David Hockney
David Hockney is particularly intrigued by landscapes depicted through windows, offering a ready-made artistic view-finder for the world outside. In earlier works such as My Window, Untitled No. 778 and Untitled 610 (created in 2011) the changing seasons are represented in all their glory. 
In another atmospheric creation Rain on the Studio Window (2009), the artist’s enduring fascination with changing ephemeral conditions (contextualised by our “human” manufactured touches such as radiators and timber-framed glass) is evidenced.
In the 220 for 2020 collection, an interior scene is depicted alongside the window view itself. A vivid green hedgerow (covered in soft rain) is just visible, whilst domestic detailing such as an antique radiator, thick stone walls, wooden carved chairs and a blue checked table-cloth situate the scene firmly in the Normandy countryside.

Art Edition D: My Second Drawing of Beuvron-en-Auge
“The only real things in life are food and love, in that order” – David Hockney
Beuvron-en-Auge is an archetypal Norman village, replete with lovingly restored Norman houses and a central covered market occupying the main square. Residing on the outskirts of this beautiful town, David Hockney has painted many depictions of its picture-postcard charm.
David Hockney’s lovingly created drawing captures the covered market (with its notable peaked roof) right in the centre of the composition, with figures and flower planters just visible on the outskirts. The quiet road skirts around shady cafés lining the square, where locals and tourists alike relax with a coffee or possibly a Normandy cider!
In 2022, David Hockney has continued his explorations of the Normandy countryside with new vigour. He’s planning new projects and vows to spend even more time working in France throughout the coming years. 
At the Artmarket Gallery, we can’t wait to see where these new explorations lead. If you’re interested in David Hockney art, contact our Art Consultants today. We’re leading experts in David Hockney and provide advice and assistance on buying and selling his astounding artworks.
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