One of Britain’s most prominent painters of the 20th century is David Hockney. Born in Bradford, England in 1937 his works include not just paintings but also prints, stage designs and photography.
It was during the 1960s that Hockney became linked with the Pop art movement. His early works did, however, show expressionist features in them. In the 1990s Hockney produced a number of works of the Yorkshire landscape. One of these was the painting The Road to York thru Sledmere.
An oil on canvas painting, it shows the road on the way from York to Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast where up until 2015 he kept a home. With vibrant colours, there can be seen a winding and rippling road that runs up through the middle of the painting.
When you study the painting, it is possible to see the main features of the village. In doing this, he has assembled the different features of the village in what looks like a patchwork of shapes. Prominent in the painting is the Sykes well memorial. When you look at the houses that run either side of the road, it is the redness of the bricks that stands out from the painting.
Like many of his works, Hockney takes his inspiration from everyday life. It was this which inspired him to create the painting while driving through Sledmere. The title of the painting also gives us some idea of where it is. Hockney shows us what Sledmere looks like in a way that is both evocative and not unrealistic. He provides us with a sense of perspective by varying the size of the different features of the village such that the smaller the image the further away it appears. Equally, as something gets further away, there is less detail than something closer.