18 posts tagged swimming pools
18 posts tagged swimming pools
David Hockney, “A Bigger Splash” (1967)
When we came up with the swimming pools theme, I could very easily envision a whole week of David Hockney pool paintings, drawings, and prints — he did so many, and it’s hard to choose just one. We got a request for “A Bigger Splash,” which has long been a favorite of mine (not to mention its pop cultural presence). There’s also the prize-winning “Peter Getting Out of Nick’s Pool,” which employs the same style of abstracted light refraction as “Sunbather.” There is the paper pool series, a study of light and color, which contrasts interestingly with the soft realism of 1971’s “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures).” Hockney’s pool works are interesting for both the techniques explored and as depictions of (white, gay, wealthy) Southern California life.
Christine Osinski, Untitled from the series “Synchrolites,” a Staten Island synchronized swimming team (1986)
Osinski has taken quite a few photographs of people in and around water, among other places. I like this one because the setting is so clear, present in associated costumes and objects, as well as in text, but not actually visible. The facial expressions and various textures (their suits, the tiles) are pregnant with a pleasant energy for me.
Walter Iooss, Jr., “Swimmer after Race, Pan American Games, Caracas, Venezuela, from the series Shooting for the Gold” (1983)
It seems that photographing swimming pools has held in fascination throughout the 20th century, but from what I’ve seen, the vast majority of these pictures have documented leisure — either the joyous and playful at a public pool, or the luxury of one privately owned. This photo depicts a swimmer at rest after exerting sustained effort, a heavier moment underscored by the thick red lane barriers, devoid of the wild liberty of movement seen in so many other pool pictures.
It’s a series of photographs, a hundred of them, which show the same face. It’s all the same woman; her age is difficult to judge. She returns the viewer’s gaze with expressions by turns sour, candid, squinting (cruel, bitter, stormy?) and sometimes, yes, murderous. The same shot, over and over, of the woman’s face and wet hair, because the woman is submerged up to her neck in various Icelandic hot springs. You think she’s got it in for you, or has designs on you, but the changes in her face are apparently caused by the weather. Snow or sun or fog in her eyes causes her to change her expression, but as a viewer you think you are the cause. Horn says that, for her, this work is “deeply erotic in a genderless way”. The photographs flow round the room. You are the weather. Weather is change.I love the subtle repetition of this series of work (and you should really see the work as a series, as it functions as a larger group, not any one individual image) — the images document time and change and reaction, but also they also serve to demonstrate how we read and interpret the passages of time and change and reactions. The woman’s setting is nearly boxed out of the frame, but its significance, or the question of its significance, remains — how is she reacting to the contrasts in temperature in the geothermic pool and the wintry air? Is what she feeling physical or emotional? How much are we projecting on her? Does it matter? We, the viewers, are the elements of change, are the weather.
Leandro Erlich, “Swimming Pool” (1999)
This installation was always a delight for me to visit while it was at PS 1 in Queens. The trick is so simple but so effective — Erlich’s piece is a full-sized swimming pool installed in its entirety so that visitors can either stand at surface level to peer down into what appears to be watery depths, or walk normally below, within those “depths.” The two perspectives are divided by a thin layer of water and glass, no more than a couple of inches, but those inches make all the difference, especially when light shining through is refracted onto the walls and floor of the turquoise colored pool. The installation recreates the placid beauty of a swimming pool with the added bonus of the illusion’s sense of humor.
J. Morgan, “Eve_End” (?) (2009)
I really like how the square brush strokes may represent choppy waters as the figure is mid-dive, or mid-stretch. I can’t remember how I came across this oil painting, so maybe I’m reading water and swimming into it when it’s more ambiguous than that. The background is so dark and contrasts so nicely against the pinks and reds of the skin. It’s such a sudden moment captured — the look on his face, the positions of his fingers — you wonder what the greater context might’ve been.
Reblogged from mionged
A key figure associated with the emergence and foundations of conceptual art in Los Angeles during the late 1960s and 1970s, Leavitt is primarily concerned with narrative and its forms. His works employ fragments of popular and vernacular culture and modernist architecture to produce narratives that are simultaneously disjunctive and achingly familiar. The culture and atmosphere of Los Angeles has played a significant role in Leavitt’s ongoing interest in “the theater of the ordinary” and the play between illusion and reality, nature and artifice that characterizes the city.[…]I find this appropriate given the not uncommon use of the swimming pool as a fairly evocative metonym of Los Angeles culture.
“William Leavitt gets Los Angeles in a very particular way,” says MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson. “Not just the mass production of fantasy, but the off-moments, the stillness, certain tones and feelings. People will see their city and their lives in his work.”