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David Hockney's Bigger Trees Near Warter Shown Outside of London for the First Time
David Hockney poses with Bigger Trees Near Warter or/ou Peinture Sur Le Motif Pour Le Nouvel Age Post-Photograpique 2007. Photo: Gareth Buddo.

LONDON.- The largest painting David Hockney has ever created is shown in the York Art Gallery through June 12 2011 , for the first time outside London.

Bigger Trees Near Warter or/ou Peinture Sur Le Motif Pour Le Nouvel Age Post-Photograpique 2007, measuring 12m by 4.5m, is made up of 50 smaller canvasses of a landscape near the East Yorkshire village of Warter.

Its arrival in York marks the start of Art in Yorkshire - supported by Tate, a year long celebration of the visual arts in 19 galleries throughout Yorkshire. Works from Tate's Collection of historic, modern and contemporary art is showcased through a compelling programme of exhibitions and events.

Nick Serota, Director, Tate, said: “It is wholly appropriate that Hockney's remarkable work Bigger Trees Near Warter should be shown for the first time outside of London at York Art Gallery. Standing before Bigger Trees Near Warter, the viewer is overwhelmed by the beauty of the winter trees and the energy of the Yorkshire landscape. In this work he has deftly joined together the tradition of painting en plein air with digital technology on a monumental scale.”

Laura Turner, curator of art, said: “This is a truly incredible piece of art – its scale completely captivates the viewer. With Hockney being one of Yorkshire’s most famous artists and the subject being of a scene in Yorkshire, its arrival is the perfect way to launch Art in Yorkshire.”

Hockney’s painting was originally exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, before the artist presented it to Tate. The painting is made up of fifty panels joined together to form a whole, with Hockney using a combination of traditional techniques and new technology to create the piece. The painting took six weeks to complete, with Hockney painting each individual canvas ‘en plein air’.

For the last seven years, Hockney has been painting the landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds. This work shows a scene just before the arrival of spring when the trees are coming into leaf. In the shallow foreground space a copse of tall trees and some early daffodils stand on slightly raised ground. An imposing sycamore is the composition’s central focus. Another, denser copse, painted in pinkish tones, is visible in the background. A road to the extreme left and two buildings to the right of the composition offer signs of human habitation. The painting’s extensive upper zone is dominated by the intricate but stark pattern created by the trees’ overlapping branches, which are clearly delineated against the winter sky.

The painting will go on display in Hull at the Ferens Art Gallery from June 25 – September 18 and at Cartwright Hall in Bradford from October 1 December 18.

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