A new book of conversations and correspondence between David Hockney and his long-time friend and collaborator Martin Gayford, in which the artist reflects upon life and art as he self-isolates in rural France.
Soon after turning eighty David Hockney sought out rustic tranquillity for the first time and moved to Normandy. So when Covid-19 struck, it made little difference to life at La Grande Cour, the centuries-old farmhouse where the artist had set up a studio a year before, in time to paint the arrival of spring. In fact, he relished the enforced isolation as an opportunity for even greater devotion to his art.
When on 1 April 2020 David Hockney released to the BBC ten of his freshly made pictures, including the daffodils titled Do Remember They Can’t Cancel the Spring, they became not just a much-needed respite from the news, but a major global news story in themselves. Illustrated with a selection of his unpublished Normandy iPad drawings and paintings, Spring Cannot be Cancelled is an uplifting manifesto that affirms art’s capacity to divert and inspire. Hockney and Gayford reflect on the extraordinary period of confinement and its consequences; the new creative directions that the artist has found in country life; the themes that have fascinated him for decades: light, colour, space, perception, water, trees; and much more. In Spring Cannot be Cancelled Hockney not only teaches us how to see but also how to live.