Installation of David Hockney’s "Gregory Swimming Los Angeles March 31st 1982"Composite polaroid 27 3/4 x 51 1/4"©David Hockney


Jason Allen 15/04/24

David Hockney: Bigger & Closer

David Hockney: Bigger & Closer | Immersive art show in a 40ft cube 

David Hockney has always embraced new technologies.

In the ’80s he used photocopiers & faxes, in the ’90s he used computers & polaroids, in the ’00s he used iPhones & iPads…

…and now he’s using four-storey high, completely immersive, state-of-the-art digital projection spaces. Classic him.

The laughably huge space he’s using is Lightroom in King’s Cross, a digital art gallery which launched back in 2023 with this very exhibition. And it was such a hit that Bigger & Closer is coming back for a second run in tandem with Lightroom’s second (and equally popular) show, The Moonwalkers.

David Hockney at the Lightroom

So. The journey begins as soon as you step into the imposing front doors. You’ll descend some stairs, and walk along a colourfully illuminated corridor as David Hockney’s dulcet voice talks you through what you’re about to encounter. It’s a nice transition, from the bustle and noise of the outside world to the quiet tranquillity of the colourful escapist fantasy that you’re about to step into.

david hockney lightroom

You’ll come into the room itself from the balcony overlooking it all, and your baptism of colour will commence. It’s important to note at this point that unlike similar spaces like Frameless, the works here haven’t been adapted to fit the space – they’re all specifically painted for it. So it’s worth seeing the show from a couple of different viewpoints – from that balcony you can either head down and submerge yourself into the vivid pigments below, or take the steps going yet further up to the very top of the room, where you can gaze out at the room below and take a moment to realise that while you may technically be in King’s Cross, you’ve been transported to another reality entirely.

David Hockney at the Lightroom

The whole experience runs for roughly an hour, but it’ll feel like a few minutes. You’ll be taken on a journey through Hockney’s life & work while listing to narration from the artist himself, all underpinned by a gorgeous score from Nico Muhly (he did movies like The Reader with Kate Winslet). You’ll see burnt ochre reds & oranges of the Grand Canyon, the lush greens of Yorkshire, the tranquil blues of a swimming pool, and the incandescent purples of a sunset. There’s a real sense of joy and wonder about the whole thing, and you feel as though Hockney was almost as awestruck as you are by the whole affair.

You can stay for as many loops as you want, to re-explore the projections surrounding yo on the walls and the floor – but it’s probably best to stay mindful of a slightly older technology…

…your watch.


NOTE: David Hockney: BIGGER & CLOSER (not smaller & further away) returns to Lightroom in Kings Cross from 17th June – 6th October 2024. Tickets are on sale now (from £25) and you can get them right here.

David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) | Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, N1C 4DY

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David Hockney: Bigger & Closer

Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, King's Cross, N1C 4DY

0300 303 4216