3 May 2021
Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature - Museum of Fine Arts Houston
with curator Ann Dumas
David Hockney, Woldgate Vista, 27 July 2005
Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature was organized in partnership with the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, where the show was inaugurated in 2019. It presents a unique opportunity to see the work of these two great modern artists side by side. Although separate in time and space, David Hockney and Vincent van Gogh are united by remarkable similarities, goals, and above all, are distinguished by their ecstatic response to nature and a determination to see the world afresh. For both artists, this intense looking is expressed primarily through vibrant color. The two artists also share origins in Northern Europe: Van Gogh in Brabant in The Netherlands and Hockney in Bradford, Yorkshire in the north of England. For both, the quest for radiant light - which led Van Gogh to Provence, and Hockney to California - was transformative.
Despite obvious differences, the correspondence between the two artists is far more striking. Ultimately, each creates a painterly world that is utterly individual and true to themselves, yet at the same time is of immense universal appeal.
Vincent van Gogh, Field with Irises near Arles, May 1888