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David Hockney, ‘Remember that you cannot look at the sun or death for very long’, 2021

On the telephone to his friend and author Martin Gayford, Hockney explained he had always loved this picture which is part of the collection at the National Gallery in London. He had long noticed that it had not one viewpoint but two:

"The trees are so close to us, aren’t they? Therefore, you must be looking up as well as looking on".

Hockney’s own painting of the view - on six shaped canvases - was a combined deconstruction and investigation of Hobbema’s space, into which the viewer seems to walk. You go down that avenue, looking right and left, as well as up into the sky and down the road.

"Just chopping off the corners has done wonders for me because now I can compose with all the edges, in all sorts of ways too — and make space! I’m very excited by it." - David Hockney