David Hockney has given the Tate his largest painting (he has painted some big ones) to date. “Bigger Trees near Warter” is about 40 feet by 15 feet or 5 meters by 12 meters and is made up of 50 panels. Also, I’m told that “Warter” is an actual place, so it’s not a misspelling of “water” like I thought it was.
Hockney said “I thought if I’m going to give something to the Tate I want to give them something really good. It’s going to be here for a while. I don’t want to give things I’m not too proud of.”
He also said “I feel loyal to the Tate. More artists should donate. They should think about it. You can’t quite trust collectors who say they’ll give to the Tate and often don’t.”
According to the TimesOnline, 23 famous British artists agreed to give work to the Tate in 2004, but many big names are yet to come good with their promise. Among those that are yet to give works are Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton and Gilbert & George. Among the 9 artists that have kept their promise are Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, and now David Hockney (sounds like a subtle hint to the other 14 scrooges to come good with some art).
The Tate’s Nicholas Serota said “It is an astonishing gift. Notwithstanding its size, this painting could have been sold to many buyers around the world. Simply to give with no tax benefit to himself is a remarkable gesture.”