David Hockney’s A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China

Jan 12 - 18

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Fri, Jan 12 to Thu, Jan 18

In honor of both the 80th birthday of art superstar David Hockney and the his career retrospective currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Milestone Films has restored A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China, or: Surface Is Illusion But So Is Depth (1998, 45 min.). In this lovely documentary, made by acclaimed filmmaker Philip Haas, Hockney delightfully explores one of his signature interests: spatial perspective and its fluctuating role within painting and the photographic arts. Discoursing on a 17th-century Chinese scroll painting (Wang Hui’s 72-foot-long The Kangxi Emperor’s Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll Seven), Hockney proves a brilliantly observant and charismatic art-history teacher, marveling in visual art’s ever-evolving capacity to tell new kinds of stories. Philip Haas, US, 1988, 45min

“Hockney effortlessly connects the past and the present, revealing himself to be a splendid art teacher in the process.…The film easily and subtly reveals at least as much about Mr. Hockney's own work as it does about the scrolls..“ — New York Times