Skip to main content

A beautiful document of Hockney’s Normandy paintings and a year of correspondence with his long-time friend Martin Gayford…

David Hockney: Spring Cannot Be Cancelled Boo

Hockney In Normandy

Almost a year on from Hockney’s Normandy iPad drawings brightening the opening weeks of lockdown comes a new book from Thames & Hudson documenting Hockney’s life and work at the centuries-old farmhouse in Normandy. A pocket of rural France he couldn’t be happier in…

“Right now I need to be somewhere like this. When I signed the lease on the Bridlington studio a decade ago, I felt twenty years younger, and the same thing happened here. I feel revitalised. It’s given me a new lease of life. I used to walk with a stick, but since I came here I’ve forgotten about it.”

— David Hockney, from ‘Spring Cannot be Cancelled’

David Hockney: Spring Cannot Be Cancelled The Entrance

David Hockney – Spring Cannot Be Cancelled

Two page spread of ‘The Entrance’ painted in 2019.

In the video below Hockney talks with journalist Andrew Marr about setting the goal of creating 220 Normandy iPad paintings in 2020, his love of the Bayeux Tapestry and being more productive than ever at 83.

In a year of imposed isolation Hockney’s fascination with the world around him is as joyfully intense as ever. Here Hockney delights in the individuality of trees before describing how nature has shaped the surrounding apple and pear trees…

“Ronald Reagan said that when you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all. But actually, they are all individuals, like us. being surrounded by the trees and getting to know them, just by looking at them, you realise why their shape is the way it is, what the reason for it is.”

— David Hockney, from ‘Spring Cannot be Cancelled’

Written during the Covid lockdown of Spring 2020 the book documents Hockney’s life and work at La Grande Cour, the centuries-old farmhouse he’d set up as a studio the year before, in time to paint the arrival of spring. From here he corresponds with art critic and good friend Martin Gayford in Cambridge.

Spring Cannot be Cancelled

David Hockney – Spring Cannot Be Cancelled

Showing illustration ‘No 556’, 19th October 2020.

Nicholas Wroe wrote an excellent review in The Guardian on Hockney’s friendship with Martin Gayford with further illustrations and photos.

Hockney arrived in Normandy intending to paint the Spring in 2019 but it was over before he had a chance to capture it so resolved to do it properly in 2020. Watch the video below for a taste of Hockney’s sketches from 2019-2020 in this six minute video, it’s a real treat…

David Hockney - Spring Book

This is the work of an artist whose creative curiosity goes undiminished through the decades, Spring Cannot Be Cancelled is a fitting testament to Hockney’s drive to look and look some more in his relentless pursuit to capture nature’s beauty.

Spring Cannot Be Cancelled: David Hockney In Normandy

1st edition was Published on 25th March 2021 by Thames and Hudson. 280 pages. 16.26 x 3.56 x 23.62cm. (6.4 x 9.3 inches). Buy online at Amazon.

Book tickets for Hockney’s Royal Academy exhibition ‘The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020’ running from 23 May — 26 September 2021.