David Hockney - Modern & Contemporary Art: Evening & Day Sale London Thursday, June 27, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Technology always has contributed to art. The brush itself is a piece of technology isn’t it?”
    —David Hockney

    Widely regarded as Britain’s greatest living painter, The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 - 2 June 2011 demonstrates the virtuosity, inventiveness, and clarity of approach that best characterises David Hockney’s mature practice. Continuously investigating the capabilities of technology to realise his vision, Hockney’s spirited rendering of the Yorkshire landscape is both intimately attuned to the phenomena of the natural world and the forces of memory, tenderly embodying the romance and tragedy of life itself.


    After two decades in Southern California, where Hockney realised his sun-lit, iconic images of the West Coast, the artist’s return to the rolling foothills of East Yorkshire prompted an unprecedented period of artistic re-invention. Visting for the summer of 1997 to see his terminally ill friend Jonathan Silver, Hockney’s renewed exposure to the verdant, rolling scenery through the daily drives from his mother’s home in Bridlington heralded the beginning of his Yorkshire landscapes.

    “[…] around Bridlington, I was painting the land, land that I myself had worked. I had dwelt in those fields, so that out there, seeing, for me, necessarily came steeped in memory.”
    —David Hockney

    A place of increasing emotional intensity following the death of his mother in 1999, Hockney moved to Bridlington full time in 2005, close to his sister Margaret. The garlanded, isolated landscape of the small seaside town on the Yorkshire coast would provide a fertile atmosphere for Hockney to commence his pioneering Arrival of Spring series in 2011. Comprised of fifty-one iPad drawings and a related, monumental painting executued over thirty-two canvases, Hockney painted along a single-track road running between Bridlington and Kilham.


    Recording the cycle of the seasons, commencing on the 1st January with winter, the present work concludes the expansive series. Caught at the final moment before the unfolding of the summer, Hockney captures the intensity and incandescence still found in late spring. Immersive in scale and rich in texture, the bright, lively renderings of green, red, and brown exude abundance and volume, flickers of light dancing between the leaves. 


    [Right] Woldgate Woods, East Yorkshire England. Image: Mark Buckle / Alamy Stock Photo
    [Left] The present work

    Technology and Hockney


    Using unorthodox and novel mediums to communicate his vision from the onset of his career, The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 - 2 June 2011 demonstrates Hockney’s perpetual enthusiasm in approaching new technologies of image-making. The artist has spoken powerfully about  the weekly trips taken with his father to the cinema, where ‘The screen, as if by magic, was opening up the wall to you, it showed you another world’.i As if catalysed by film, already in the 1960s Hockney began to use the camera, purchasing a polaroid in 1964 whose images served as references for his paintings.


    From photocollages to prints made using his colour photocopier during the early 1980s, Hockney commenced digital drawing in 1987 as he was invited, alongside several others, to create drawings using the Quantel Paintbox. Continuing to experiment with the Apple Macintosh in 1991, the artist was initially frustrated by each software’s limitations: ‘It wasn’t as fast as your hand. For a draughtsman, that’s no good – if you’re drawing a line and the ink isn’t there, or if you’ve finished and the drawing was still being done’.ii Yet, with the advent of the iPhone and then the iPad (that Hockney was among the first to acquire in 2010), technology finally caught up with Hockney’s aspirations. As in the present work, Hockney was able to work using his screen en plein air, enabling the artist to capture shifting effects of light and weather with immediacy. Evidence of the enthusiasm with which Hockney has approached new technologies throughout his career, The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 - 2 June 2011 reflects the artist's capacity to enchant, innovate, and surprise.


    Collector’s Digest


    • Born on 9th July 1937 in Bradford, Yorkshire, David Hockney is among one of the most influential artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Currently living in Normandy, his evocative portraits and landscapes in California, Britain and beyond encompass a range of styles and mediums: from acrylic and oil paints to fax drawings, print making and photography.

    • The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 - 2 June 2011 belongs to Hockney’s first Arrival of Spring series of iPad drawings that the artist has continued in 2013 and 2020.

    • The inaugural series was exhibited as part of Hockney’s landmark travelling exhibition A Bigger Picture. Commencing at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2012, the show travelled to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and closed at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne in February 2013.



    i David Hockney, quoted in Luz Eitel, ‘1937-1952’, David Hockney – A Chronology, Italy, 2020, p. 6.

    ii David Hockney, quoted in Martin Gayford, ‘David Hockney: The Technology of Art’, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2012, p. 64.

    • Provenance

      Annely Juda Fine Art, London (acquired directly from the artist)
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      London, Royal Academy of Arts; Museo Guggenheim Bilbao; Cologne, Museum Ludwig, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, 21 January 2012–4 February 2013, no. 119.51, pp. 227, 300 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 239)
      San Francisco, de Young Museum, David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition, 26 October 2013–20 January 2014, no. 177, p. 219 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 152)
      London, Annely Juda, The Arrival of Spring, 9 July–28 August 2015
      Beijing, Pace Gallery, David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, 18 April-6 June 2015 (another example exhibited)
      Arles, Fondation Vincent van Gogh, David Hockney: L'Arrivée du printemps, 11 October 2015–17 January 2016, pp. 48, 80 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 49)
      Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, David Hockney: Current, 11 November 2016–13 March 2017, p. 143 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 138)
      Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature, 1 March–26 May 2019, no. 67, pp. 114, 167 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 115)
      Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art, David Hockney, 15 July–5 November 2023, no. 122, pp. 212, 243 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 106)

    • Artist Biography

      David Hockney

      David Hockney (b. 1937) is one of the most well-known and celebrated artists of the
      20th and 21st centuries. He works across many mediums, including painting, collage,
      and more recently digitally, by creating print series on iPads. His works show semi-
      abstract representations of domestic life, human relationships, floral, fauna, and the
      changing of seasons.

      Hockney has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Royal
      Academy of Arts in London, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among many
      other institutions. On the secondary market, his work has sold for more than $90

      View More Works


The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) - 2 June

signed, numbered and dated 'David Hockney 5/10 2011' lower right
iPad drawing printed on four sheets of paper, mounted on four sheets of Dibond
each: 117.5 x 88.3 cm (46 1/4 x 34 3/4 in.)
overall: 235 x 166.7 cm (92 1/2 x 65 5/8 in.)

Executed in 2011, this work is number 5 from an edition of 10.

Full Cataloguing

£280,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £406,400

Contact Specialist

Louise Simpson
Associate Specialist
+44 7887 473 568

Modern & Contemporary Art: Evening & Day Sale

London Auction 27 June 2024