Time Recomposed of Shards

David Hockney's painterly photocollages in New York City

Time and its offspring, movement, have fascinated some modern artists. Sculptors can build it straight into their work -- the last half of the 20th century is full of wind-, gravity- or motor-powered contraptions that range from the balletic (Alexander Calder) to the Rube Goldbergian (Jean Tinguely) -- but a painter has to deal with a still, flat surface. On it, there are two possibilities. The first is to try to render the movement of the object itself, as the futurists did with their racing cars, or the cartoonist does with his speed lines. Mostly this results in illustrations, straightforward or...

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