The tousled strands of a deep pile rug give a painter a pleasant rhythm to mimic. Curling every which way in little wavelets from the confines of the carpet backing, they offer an orderly disorder for the brush to reinvent. There are three particularly inviting rugs among the 135 works—from paintings and drawings to photographic composites and multiscreen installations—assembled in the retrospective of David Hockney’s work now at the Metropolitan Museum. One of them snuggles around the bare feet of a fashion designer friend of Hockney’s in Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, a ten-foot-wide canvas from 1970–1971 that has lodged in the British imagination as an icon of a modern London at ease with itself, its heritage suavely renovated. A swish young couple pose, cocksure yet winsome, in a Victorian piano nobile that they have decluttered: little interrupts its pastel expanses but a white telephone, a vase of white lilies on a white modern table, Percy the white cat, and the off-whites of the shag pile into which those toes are sinking in woolen warmth—a single sensuous incident singing out from the cool, impeccable acrylic rendering.