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Spring Cannot be Cancelled

David Hockney in Normandy

Martin Gayford, David Hockney


A Sunday Times bestseller: David Hockney reflects upon life and art as he experiences lockdown in rural Normandy

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‘We have lost touch with nature, rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it. This will in time be over and then what? What have we learned? … The only real things in life are food and love, in that order, just like [for] our little dog Ruby… and the source of art is love. I love life.’

An uplifting manifesto that affirms art’s capacity to divert and inspire, Spring Cannot be Cancelled draws on a wealth of conversations and correspondence between David Hockney and art critic Martin Gayford, in which the artist reflects upon life as he self-isolates in rural France. Their exchanges span nature, food, art, opera, fairy tales and more, and are illustrated by a selection of Hockney’s Normandy iPad drawings and paintings alongside works by other artists, including van Gogh, Monet and Bruegel. We see how Hockney is propelled ever forward by his infectious enthusiasms and sense of wonder, still utterly absorbed by the themes that have fascinated him for decades: light, colour, space, perception, water, trees. He has much to teach us, not only about how to see... but about how to live.

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'This book is not so much a celebration of spring as a springboard for ideas about art, space, time and light. It is scholarly, thoughtful and provoking'
The Times

'A burst of springtime joy'
Daily Telegraph

'Lavishly illustrated… Gayford is a thoughtfully attentive critic with a capacious frame of reference'

'Gloriously illustrated … It’s a book about many things – Hockney’s love of France and French painting, his reflections on many other artists among them. But at its heart is this octogenarian’s adoration of nature, his belief that art is rooted in love, and a restless gusto for life '
Andrew Marr, The Spectator

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 280 pp

Publication date: 1 April 2022

ISBN: 9780500296608

Contents List

1 An unexpected move
2 Studio work
3 La vie française: French life in a Bohemian style
4 Lines and time
5 A merry Christmas and an unexpected New Year
6 Locked down in paradise
7 A house for an artist and a painter’s garden
8 The sky, the sky!
9 Sumptuous blacks and subtler greens
10 Several smaller splashes
11 Everything flows
12 Rippling lines and musical spaces
13 Lost (and found) in translation
14 Picasso, Proust, and pictures
15 Being somewhere
16 Full moon in Normandy

About the Author

David Hockney is perhaps the most critically acclaimed artist of our age. He has produced work in almost every medium and has stretched the boundaries of all of them. His bestselling Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters is also published by Thames & Hudson, as are his previous books in partnership with Martin Gayford: A Bigger Message and A History of Pictures. Martin Gayford is art critic for The Spectator. His books include Modernists & Mavericks, Man with a Blue Scarf, A Bigger Message, Rendez-vous with Art (with Philippe de Montebello), A History of Pictures (with David Hockney), and, most recently, The Pursuit of Art, all published by Thames & Hudson.