Such work forms the exhibition’s highpoint, the peak of Hockney’s fashionability. His later experiments in photo-collage—his attempt to play with the representation of space, including his habit of picturing his own shoes, as in My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire (1982)—seem gimmicky compared to his earlier practice, a fate also reserved for his iPhone and iPad drawings, completed in the last 10 years and already feeling like a lifetime ago.
In the 1990s, Hockney began to spend more time in his native Yorkshire, especially the unspoiled landscape around the coastal town of Bridlington, where he later lived. The Road Across the Wolds (1997) shows a thoroughfare zigzagging across a surprisingly flat variegation of fields, which appears like a patchwork quilt. His video work The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods (2010–2011) occupies its own room, appearing across four screens that show his distinctive grid, every frame with subtly shifting footage of the vegetation in front of it, each shot at a different time of year.
“The history of our changing perceptions is more than a history of changing tastes and fashions,” writes the Yorkshire-born novelist Margaret Drabble of this period in Hockney’s career. “The Hockney paintings of the 21st century have given us a new Hockney landscape, a startling contrast to the sunlit landscapes he left England to find.”