At the beginning of 2020, just as global Covid-19 restrictions were coming into force, the artist David Hockney was at his house, studio and garden in Normandy. From there, he witnessed the arrival of spring, and recorded the blossoming of the surrounding landscape on his iPad, a method of drawing he has been using for over a decade.
Drawing outdoors was an antidote to the anxiety of the moment for Hockney – ‘We need art, and I do think it can relieve stress,’ he says. This uplifting publication – produced to accompany a major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts – includes 116 of the new iPad drawings and shows to full effect Hockney’s singular skill in capturing the exuberance of nature.
The book begins with an interview with the show’s curator, Edith Devaney, in which Hockney discusses his heralding of the spring.