David Hockney - Time Out Review

Imagine... David Hockney: A Bigger Picture

10.35-11.30 BBC1

Gratifyingly, Alan Yentob takes a step back tonight, which means it's up to filmmaker Bruno Wollheim to condense three years with David Hockney into just under an hour. Yet somehow the finished product feels neither rushed nor cursory. Quite the opposite, with Hockney's return to his native rainy Yorkshire - after 30 sun-drenched years in California – given an appropriately pastoral treatment, as he paints the local countryside and announces first that he is abandoning photography (the much-discussed 'Secret Knowledge' project), then uses it to compose a remarkable exhibition for the Royal Academy's Summer Show. 'Never believe what an artist says, only what they do,' he notes, eyes twinkling. Hockney is on this sort of bluff and mischievous form throughout, only rising to mild irritation when a passer-by mentions that he's 'got a bit o' decorating want doin' in t'pub'. Away from his art (into which insights are plentiful and revealing), there's also a snapshot of his charmingly anti-nuclear family of sister, companion, accordionist and dog. As gently hypnotic and fulfilling as one of Hockney's own works.

Gabriel Tate.

'Time Out', June 25th – July 1st 2009.