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David Hockney retrospective at the Pompidou

painting for pleasure, first and foremost

There are artists who dream about pictorial revolutions and there are those who celebrate easel painting as it has always been. Painting has its great adventurers, those who opt for different mediums like transparent materials instead of regular canvas (Sigmar Polke), who practice abstraction bordering on handwriting (Cy Twombly), who employ mathematical formulas (Sol Lewitt) or who use ready-printed canvases as their medium (Daniel Buren)… But for the most famous living British painter, David Hockney (born 1937), such revolutions are not for him. As Didier Ottinger, who is curating the exhibition at the Pompidou, underlines, ‘he is not part of what we call the avant garde, cut off from the public. He is one of those rare people who affirm that art is there to celebrate life. He seeks out pleasure.’