Meet the filmmaker who captured one of the 20th century’s greatest artists at today’s screening of David Hockney: A Bigger Picture. Documentarian Bruno Wollheim filmed Hockney for three years. At the time Hockney had just returned to his native Yorkshire, England, and was beginning a series of landscapes. With the help of an assistant, Hockney went into the English countryside, set up an easel and painted. Working quickly, he averaged a painting a day. (Locals who didn’t recognize Hockney would drive by the pair on the side of the road and stop to offer him jobs painting murals in a nearby pub or give him words of encouragement, like “Oh, I like that.”)
At some point Hockney wasn’t satisfied with the size of his canvas, and he set out to paint an oversize landscape. The result is Bigger Trees Near Warter, which is made up of 50 canvases and measures some 40 feet across and stands 15 feet high. He eventually donated the painting to the Tate Britain museum (along with two replicas).
Wollheim was there through the entire process, and while Hockney sometimes threw the filmmaker out of his studio or declined to discuss what he was doing, A Bigger Picture is an unprecedented look at the day-to-day working of one of today’s greatest living artists. If you like Hockney, don’t like Hockney or don’t even know who Hockney is, A Bigger Picture is a film that’s worthy of your attention. It works as a biography of a world-famous artist and as a look at one man’s process of creating world-class art.
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Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the filmmaker, who will be on hand to introduce the screening and schmooze at a wine and cheese reception afterward. 6:30 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org. Free.
Tue., March 20, 6:30 p.m., 2012