Returning Home, but Always Going Forward Recent David Hockney Work at the de Young in San Francisco

At 76, David Hockney is in one of his primes, and apparently he knows it. Not for nothing is his exuberant, immersive survey at the de Young Museum here cheekily titled “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition.”

By then [early 1980’s] Mr. Hockney was one of the most popular of all living artists. Thousands of people who otherwise weren’t much interested in modern art found his work irresistible. As many people in the art world did, I resisted it for years, finding it ingratiating and illustrative, more drawing than painting and (O.K., snobbishly) seeing its very popularity as a sign of weakness.  But after a while his art was just doing too many interesting things to be resisted.

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