March 23, 2009

Baby Remember My Name? Mystery Mid-Century Artist Pool


Can you identify the source of this photo and the artist who lovingly decorated a concrete box in the forest for his kids to play with? Andy posted it to his Reference Library flickr stream last spring, but he doesn't remember where he got it.

I assume the box is a pool, though it doesn't have any water at the moment, and it looks pretty deep. The stairs look like they're made of concrete block, but US concrete block usually has two holes, not three. Perhaps if an expert in the concrete block molds of Europe can identify the country [cinderblock is known as parpaings or bloc de beton in French, and bloque de hormigon in Spanish], we can start to work on the artist, who was probably not, despite appearances, Joan Miro.

UPDATE: Asked and answered? Below, DT commenter Randy suggests this might be the work of Bernard Rudofsky and Constantino Nivola, who collaborated on Nivola's house in Springs, in the Hamptons, which was right down the road from their friends, the Krasner-Pollocks. Judging from this image from Art & Architecture magazine, I can see the similarity.


UPDATE UPDATE: Now Andy hits'em home with a description from Alastair Gordon's classic book Weekend Utopia, which began as a tiny 20-page catalogue for a 1999 exhibition at Guild Hall of modernist beach houses in the Hamptons. Turns out this wasn't a pool, but a "solarium" designed with high, white walls to reflect the sun "to such a degree that nude sunbathing was possible even in the winter." So there you have it. Well researched, folks.

some concrete pool in the middle of nowhere from back in the day [reference library via mark from sparkability, a dt advertiser]


Give us a hard one, will ya? Berhard Rudofsky, architect. Murals by Constantino Nivola. See page 157 of Arts & Architecture, the Entenza Years (compilation book). The posted picture is a reverse of the printed picture.

Dude. the Hamptons. I have been schooled.

From the October 1952 issue of A&A.

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