When I was a small child, growing up in southern California, my parents used to take the family on camping vacations to Yosemite National Park. I probably went there four or five times up to the age of 8 or so. While these vacations are many decades in the past for me now, my very vivid memories of the park and its many tall and fragrant redwood trees, crystal clear shallow streams, majestic mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and other uniquely beautiful natural sights and smells stay with me to this day. Yosemite is breathtaking.
British artist David Hockney must feel similarly, because he has created a new series of vivid iPad drawings featuring the wild landscape of Yosemite that you can see and enjoy now at Pace Gallery in Chelsea. When I stood in front of these uncomplicated yet profoundly compelling drawings, I felt like I was back in the park again. Everything looked so familiar to me.
You can almost smell the trees.
Happy Little Trees.
From the late 1800s through most of the 1960s, Yosemite used to have a summertime evening ritual in the park called the Firefall, where visitors could gather to watch a ball of fire get tossed off the side of the one of the mountains, Glacier Point: like a waterfall, only with fire. They stopped doing it because of the danger of a forest fire, and because it got too popular and folks were trampling the meadows to try and see it. It was pretty cool to experience in person though. I’ll never forget it.
David Hockney’s The Yosemite Suite will be on Exhibit Through June 18th, 2016 at PACE, Located at 537 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.