ART: DELIGHT FOR ITS OWN SAKE

FEELINGS, NOT IDEAS, ARE WHAT MATTER TO HOWARD HODGKIN, AND HE EVOKES THEM IN COLORS LIKE NO OTHER IN MODERN PAINTING

THE ENGLISH PAINTER HOWARD Hodgkin, whose work is on show at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art through Jan. 28 (and will open at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, on March 31) is not for those art-world puritans who would rather have their art difficult than enjoyable. If anyone painting today believes in the pleasure principle, it is Hodgkin, and if you think that optical sensuous delight for its own sake has somehow become unkosher since Matisse, and that ideas are mainly what count in art, don't go.

Hodgkin's paintings are not about ideas. They are feelings...

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