Entering the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the wintry New York streets, the bright and pleasant California scenes of British artist David Hockney are a welcome sight. With his distinctive pop-esque flatness, Hockney created warm vistas of Los Angeles backyards, blue skies, pools, and thin palm trees. If he’s best known for this series, though, the Met’s major retrospective (on view through February 28th) displays just how much more there is to his oeuvre.
Hockney fearlessly portrayed male desire and homoeroticism as early as the 1960s, when the subjects were much more taboo. As viewers progress from room to room, the artist’s endless innovation and embrace of modern technology becomes apparent. Toward the end, his iPad drawings offer a strikingly contemporary celebration of one of the world’s oldest art forms: painting. Hockney never took himself too seriously, and neither should you—this is a show to be enjoyed, a colorful respite from the cold and dreary season.