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High-tech meets David Hockney

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    David Hockney, 85, wearing a checkered suit and yellow Crocs, and carrying a walking stick, standing in a large room overlaid with light projections.
    David Hockney said the interactive art extravaganza “Bigger & Closer (Not Smaller & Further Away)” was a natural development in his career: “My work was leading up to this, really.”Credit...Justin Sutcliffe

    The British artist has always embraced new ways of working. With an immersive digital extravaganza, he is taking it to the next level.

    The British painter David Hockney grabbed the art world’s attention in the 1960s and ’70s with fun and glamorous depictions of Californian life. They included striking images of nude sunbathers lying alongside glistening swimming pools and socialites in their sleek, modernist homes.

    Then, Hockney discovered technology. In 1982, he began exhibiting works made with Polaroid cameras. Those pieces featured dozens of photos of friends and family, or landscapes, arranged into disjointed collages. Soon, Hockney was making art with fax machines and photocopiers. In the last 10 years, he has exhibited works he made with smartphone apps and his iPad.

    Now, Hockney, 85, has embraced digital technology on a much larger scale to create “” — an immersive spectacular that opens on Wednesday at Lightroom, a new London arts venue, and runs through June 4.

    In the show, dozens of Hockney’s paintings are beamed onto Lightroom’s walls at huge scale, so they surround and engulf the viewer. They include some of his most famous works, such as “A Bigger Splash,” his 1967 swimming pool painting; and “A Bigger Grand Canyon,” which depicts one of America’s greatest landscapes in psychedelic hues.

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