Monday, 18 June 2012

Adrian Berg (1929 - 2011)

"A couple of weeks ago I was at the crowded opening of the much-hyped exhibition ‘David Hockney: A Bigger Picture’ at the Royal Academy. As I looked at the vibrantly coloured landscapes on show I wondered what Hockney’s fellow Royal Academician Adrian Berg would have made of these enormous and theatrical paintings. While Hockney has come to painting the landscape of Yorkshire in the last decade since his return from the USA, Berg has been painting the English landscape in equally vibrant colours for decades. Hockney’s espousal of new technology and his perceived originality are oft-discussed, but I can’t help thinking that these new landscapes also owe a debt to Adrian Berg, with whom Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art in the late 1950s – and with whom he remained friends for life. Although the scale of their paintings is radically different, there is something about the use of colour and form in Hockney’s recent landscapes that suggests he has absorbed some lessons from Adrian Berg’s approach."
Simon Martin

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