New York

David Hockney

Andre Emmerich Gallery

David Hockney’s “Paper Pools” continue a theme that has been at the center of his work for a long time—the swimming pool, or its rippling, glistening water. The pools convey the luxuriance, sensuality and mystery that Hockney’s work generally exudes, and they also stand metaphorically as a way in which people construct their own paradise. In Hockney’s pools, people float between something primal and something extremely civilized. Some say that his pools are explicit sexual symbols as well, but I am not sure what this means; it seems to me to trivialize the pools by defining them too closely.

The paper pools involve materials unusual for Hockney. Each picture is composed of a number of standard-size watercolor sheets, which are painted individually but placed to abut each other. Six, nine or twelve panels will make up each large painting, each panel peeling slightly away from its neighbor

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