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Susanne Hay: At the swimming pool

6 November 2021 — 6 February 2022

The oil on canvas paintings by Susanne Hay (1962-2004), a German artist who took up residence in Paris, show her interest for the human body, her sensitivity, her suffering, her intimacy and the mystery and the mystery of moving from one status to another, between the tragic and the burlesque, between vision and reality, between life and death, while maintaining constant dialogue with the history of art.

She worked exclusively with models, usually outside the workshop in public places. To mark 20 years since the inauguration of the La Piscine museum, the Susanne Hay: à la piscine exhibition is composed mainly of ‘aquatic’ subjects chosen from among the artist’s vast œuvre.

A significant series of canvases produced during long sittings is devoted to nudes taking a shower in the intimacy of a bathroom. These are not simply indiscreet incitements that turn the spectator into a voyeur accomplice, but staged enactments, despite appearances to the contrary. A sensual and regenerative relationship is established with the water, with the compositions evoking rites of initiation, purification, transition and regeneration of life. 

The series of paintings produced in situ in a public pool in Paris in 1996 are characterised by bright colours. The solitude and distress of the persons portrayed in a vast space are accentuated. These are introverts, lost in a place of sport end leisure, strange and mysterious beings, so near and yet so far from our daily lives.

Committee made up of Harald Theil
Catalogue published for the exhibition

The design was made possible thanks to generous support from the Flanders Colours range of paints distributed by Tollens.

See also