While the temperature is rising, more cool summer photography shows are opening. One of the doyennes of the photography world, Bonni Benrubi, chose “Summer Place” as her subject of her gallery’s current exhibition. The pictures show spaces where the subjects can behave in a playful, summer-like fashion. Summer shows, Bonni says, allow her to be loose in her selection of photographs and artists, and include non-gallery artists in addition to her own. As much as her show is fluid, it does express Bonni’s personality: she is solid and true to herself.
The quintessential summer space, of course, is water. There are wonderful surf pictures in the show, but the coolest pictures are Karine Laval’s pool photographs. Laval has always had a special relationship with the element of water. Her pool project started in 2002, when she obsessively took pictures of bathers at Barcelonetta, a public pool in Bacelona, Spain. Its modernist architecture attracted her, and she decided to cross-process her pictures. Pleased with the result, she continued to take pool pictures all around Europe. I like the Bauhaus aesthetic, and Laval’s images have a similar feel.
Laval’s more recent pictures are dreamier and more elusive, beautiful in a painterly way; they seem to reveal hidden worlds. My mind is seduced into lingering in spaces between the real and the imagined. I want to float in cool waters and forget about the heat wave in steaming New York City.
Elisabeth Biondi for The New Yorker