New York Kultur

Karine Laval: Poolscapes

Poolscapes brings together two connected bodies of work—“The Pool” (2002–05) and “Poolscapes” (2009–12)—focused on the motif of the swimming pool and realized over the course of ten years. Presenting public pools in urban and natural environments throughout Europe and private pools in the US in two distinct sections, the book is arranged chronologically and shows an evolution in tone and depth, from the real to the imagined, from the photographic to the painterly.

Poolscapes opens with the “The Pool” series which invites us into a sun-bleached public pool at midday, evocative of playful, mundane childhood memories and the universal experience of leisure and bathing. Gradually these geometric lines and familiar architectural structures with their social and descriptive references give way to the abstract, often blurred shapes and colors of the “Poolscapes” pictures that oscillate between representation and abstraction. Here the pool becomes a metaphor, a mirror whose surface reflects the surrounding world but is also a gate into a submerged realm where bathers are distorted and fragmented—“murky waters” that reveal the unconscious and darker connotations of the pool.

Karine Laval today lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been widely exhibited at venues including the Palm Springs Art Museum, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Sørlandets Art Museum in Kristiansand, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and photography festivals throughout Europe and the US. Laval has been recognized with the Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant, and as one of the Humble Art Foundation’s 31 Women in Art Photography (2011), Photo District News’30 for New and Emerging Photographers (2005), and the Magenta Foundation’s Emerging Photographers of the Year (2005 and 2009). Laval was nominated for the Prix Pictet in 2016.

Karine Laval: Poolscapes published by Steidl
Book design: Karine Laval
128 pages 23.8 x 30.5 cm Hardback / Clothbound
ISBN 978-3-95829-261-1

Published by Steidl