David Hockney at the Whitney
By Jerry Portwood
A still from Hockney's 'The Jugglers, June 24th 2012, 2012.' Image courtesy Hockney Pictures and Pace Gallery
Over the years British-born artist David Hockney (and Out100 honoree) has reinvented himself multiple times. From his California paintings to his Polaroid photo-collages, he continues to keep the art world guessing—most recently using the Brushes app on the iPhone and iPad. But now we have a chance to see the U.S. premiere of his video work when the Whitney presents his first video installation, "The Jugglers, June 24th 2012" (May 23-Sept. 1).
As described in the press release:
"A group of twelve figures, clad in black, juggle brightly colored objects in an equally bright room, creating a vibrant composition, the energy of which is echoed by the soundtrack of “Stars & Stripes Forever.” Filmed with 18 fixed cameras, this lively tableau captures the performers as they move in a procession through the room. Throughout the nine-minute performance, each juggler is fully visible making his or her way across eighteen individual screens."
Curator Chrissie Iles stated: “In this new video installation, David Hockney surprises us once again, exploring how multiple perspectives can transform our experience of the moving image. The vivid tones of The Jugglers evoke the intense color of Technicolor Hollywood film, while the jugglers’ playful movements echo the simple actions of early silent movies. Hockney mines the histories of cinema and painting through the lens of technology, to create a new way of seeing."
Of course, the Whitney is dedicated to 20th-century and contemporary American art, and it has shown Hockney's work extensively, including last being included in the 2004 Biennial, so he has serious American cred.