REASON TO GATHER #1: Start 2023 with David Hockney

25th June 2022, Looking at the Flowers (Framed)

Some Flowers and Some Bigger Pictures” at L.A. Louver (CLOSING JAN 7, 2023)

Venice’s L.A. Louver is as elegant as a crisp white shirt. Whenever I step into the gallery’s sleek space, “I’m so happy to be here” crosses my mind, no matter what is on the walls. This past fall’s Beatrice Wood show was lovely, and the latest Hockney exhibit only confirms my bias towards this venerable institution, which opened in 1976 and represents many notable artists.

David Hockney began painting on his iPad when the technology first emerged and now creates his images with tools that are custom made for him. You’ve probably caught some of his other iPad drawings over the years, most evoking the lush landscapes of England and France. What’s amazing is that his delight in the medium has not diminished. If anything, his wonder increases.

This latest show – which closes on Saturday, January 7, 2023 – showcases sprays of various yellow flowers done at the 85 year-old artist’s kitchen table in 2021.. One canvas dominates the gallery – it is a large scale “Photographic Drawing” that depicts two images of Hockney looking at framed versions of the flower paintings – a wink about his process that manages to collapse space and time.

The show continues upstairs with several large scale images of landscapes around Normandy, France, where Hockney now lives. These are iPad drawings which are stitched together. I fell in love with one of these – it is so evocative of a rainy day in the country. Apologies, that my photo doesn’t do it justice – you’ll just have to go see it yourself!

Know Before You Go: Here’s a review of one version of the show on view in London, explaining Hockney’s unprecedented strategy for selling this work through five separate galleries. Hockney’s work is represented in LA, Chicago, NYC, London and Paris. He creates the images on the iPad, and they’re sent digitally to each city – the works at this gallery were printed here in LA. Here is an article about the show from KCRW.

Here’s what Hockney is up to next – proving you’re never too old for anything! And here is a frieze he made during the pandemic.

You can find tons of interviews with Hockney on YouTube. Start here and go down a colorful rabbit hole.

Extend the Visit: L.A. Louver is located between Pacific Boulevard and the Venice boardwalk, so park once and head out for a relaxed stroll south to the Marina along the beach. We walked down to Charlie Beach at the tip of the Basin, and returned through the Ballona Lagoon, which dropped us right back into the the Venice canals. You could also skip the longer walk and just amble through the canals, one of LA’s unique corners.

Food Nearby: Lots of choices in Venice, depending on the time of day. Burgers at Hinano if you head towards the Marina (15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292) or elevated pizzas for brunch at Ospi (2025 Pacific Ave). Or head back to Abbot Kinney for lots of options, including Butcher’s Daughter (1205 Abbot Kinney).

L.A. Louver
45 North Venice Boulevard
Venice, California 90291
T: 310.822.4955, F: 310.821.7529

Notes: A visit to the gallery is free and this show works for kids and teens. Validated parking is available in the lot directly across the street from the gallery. We found street parking easily. Masks are recommended.

Hours: 10am – 6pm, Tuesday – Saturday.