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Skinny Dipping

  • August 2013
  • Relating to the works of Hurvin Anderson

Skinny Dipping
Oil on canvas
160 x 246 cm
Acquired 15 October 2002



Born to parents of Jamaican origin, Anderson's works explore, and have been influenced by, the Caribbean community within the United Kingdom and his time spent abroad. 'Skinny Dipping' was painted whilst participating in a sponsored six month arts residency programme in Trinidad. His time there can be seen in the subject matter and the bold colours that he uses in some of his paintings, for example the depth of the various shades of blue used in 'Skinny Dipping'. Anderson has said that he is 'quite into the idea that there's more to painting than what you are looking at… and how you get that across with paint, colour and mood'.(1) In 'Skinny Dipping', the careful positing of groups of people and the white splash of water contrasts with the otherwise simple geometric shapes and use of empty space to create the buzzing atmosphere of a municipal swimming pool. Yet for all that this is a busy meeting place and one usually associated with pleasure, the opaque figures and distance from the scene create a feeling of disconnect with the artist as an onlooker rather than a participant.


About the artist

Born in 1965 in Birmingham, Anderson completed a BA Hons in Fine Art, Painting at Wimbledon College of Art, London (1994) and then a BA in Fine Art, Painting at The Royal College of Art (1998). He has had solo exhibitions including, in 2009, 'Art Now: Hurvin Anderson' at Tate Britain, London and 'Peter's Series' at Studio Museum Harlem, New York.


About his work

Anderson's works consist mainly of landscapes and abstract paintings that are of a late impressionist style and which echo artists such as David Hockney and Peter Doig. Anderson takes private and public gathering spaces as his primary subjects, often starting with a photograph of the subject matter which he then builds on with reprinted images and drawings to create a collage. This then leads to small acrylic drawings that are used to produce the final paintings. Anderson has said that he has 'always been interested in the idea of silence, something being mute in the painting'(2) and this is demonstrated through his reductionist approach and use of empty spaces. He takes an image back to its basic colours and simple geometric shapes before re-introducing carefully selected details, such as the people in 'Skinny Dipping'.


(1) Elle Decour 'Art Show: Hurvin Anderson' by Vicky Lowry accessed 15/07/2013
(2) Elle Decour 'Art Show: Hurvin Anderson' by Vicky Lowry accessed 15/07/2013


Laura Boddington, Capital Markets

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