Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool

Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool

Title: Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool
Date: 1966
Artist(s): David Hockney (British: English, born:09 July 1937, died:unknown)
Materials: Acrylic; Canvas
Information: © David Hockney. Photo Credit Richard Schmidt.

This picture shows the communal swimming pool of an apartment block at 1145 Larrabee Street, Hollywood, just north of Sunset Boulevard. This was the home of one of Hockney's friends, the art dealer and gallery owner Nick Wilder. Hockney lived there from summer 1966 until early 1967 whilst at the same time renting a decrepit studio in central Los Angeles. Hockney’s boyfriend, Peter Schlesinger, a 19-year old painter whom he had met while teaching, is the naked figure climbing out of the pool.

Hockney copied the figure of Peter from a Polaroid photograph that he had taken, showing him leaning naked against the bonnet of a car. The square format of the photograph is deliberately evoked in the shape of the painting. The idea of leaving a border of unprimed, virgin canvas, Hockney said, was ‘to make the picture look more like a painting’. He wanted to emphasise the process of picture-making and the artifice involved in creating an illusion. Hockney subsequently thought that this wish was a timid accommodation to prevailing fashions amongst avant-garde painters. At this stage though he still wanted, however peripherally, to be involved with formal advances in art.
Accession no: WAG 6605
Credit line: Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by John Moores in 1968
Location: Walker Art Gallery, on display