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Nichols Canyon

Artist: David Hockney
Created: 1980
Dimensions (cm): 152.4 x 213.3
Format: Acrylic on canvas
Location: Private collection

Painted in true Fauvist style, ‘Nichols Canyon’ was created in 1980 by David Hockney, who is perhaps the most important English living artist today. The intensity of each bright color demands attention, causing the viewer’s eyes to meander all over the canvas. It is a beautifully arranged depiction of Nichols Canyon in Hollywood, California. The black winding road, slightly exaggerated and juxtaposed against the powerful blue shades of the water, pulls the viewer into the landscape. The artist comments, “I actually felt those wiggly lines.” The scenery is a torrent of multi-colored expressive tones that seem to celebrate Hockney’s love of the canyon. The small houses along the road are shaped and colored in the same manner, but nonetheless, are cleverly unique. There is no concern in this painting over what is real or possible; it is merely a manifest of a playful imagination, as well as an expression of emotion. ‘Nichols Canyon’ is a highly decorative piece that any fauvist or pop art fan would cherish. David Hockney denies being a pop artist, but due to his earlier works, he is often categorized as one by his fans.

Analysis and Reviews

“The Los Angeles lifestyle and landscape became important features of Hockney's work. There were other important changes in his work as well: he started using acrylics rather than oil paint and he made increasing use of photography for purposes of documentation.” – Edward Lucie-Smith (Lives of the Great 20th-Century Artists)

“What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing: you wouldn't be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.” – David Hockney

‘Nichols Canyon’ is part of a private collection belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Hedreen.


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