Canvas gives big picture of English forest

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Canvas gives big picture of English forest


David Hockney’s “Bigger Trees Near Warter” (2007) from the collection of Tate, London, is on display at Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Gwacheon. By Richard Schmidt

The exhibition of a gigantic multi-canvas painting, “Bigger Trees Near Warter,” by David Hockney, 76, one of the world’s most important living painters, started yesterday at Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Gwacheon, south of Seoul.

The painting, which was created in 2007 by the British artist and housed at Tate in London since 2008, will be on display at the Korean museum until the end of February, as part of the two museums’ exchange and collaboration programs.

Occupying 50 canvases, the painting reaches 4.5 meters high and 12 meters wide (14 feet high and 39 feet wide), making it the largest of Hockney’s recent works.

“The painting shows a small copse of trees near Warter in the west of Bridlington, representing the exact type of serene British countryside that enraptured Hockney upon his return to Yorkshire,” the museum explained in a release. “The leaves on the trees are just beginning to sprout, heralding the arrival of spring.”

Hockney had lived in Los Angeles for more than three decades, making important art pieces in 20th century art history, such as the painting “A Bigger Splash”(1967) and photo collages “Pearblossom Hwy., 11-18th April 1986 #2”(1986). Then, he returned to his hometown of Yorkshire and began to paint its countryside in the early 2000s.

“Due to the overwhelming size of the painting, anyone who approaches it feels as if they are stepping into an actual forest,” the museum said. “The goal of his exploration goes beyond the simple desire to create a detailed description of the village landscape; he is seeking to delineate the infinite flux of nature, while simultaneously illuminating our ways of perceiving scenes and objects.”

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