Weekend Pick: The Swimmer at The FLAG Art Foundation

Grab your family and plunge into the cool blue waters of “The Swimmer,” an expansive group exhibition at the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea. Inspired by John Cheever’s 1964 short story of the same name, “The Swimmer” (on view until August 9th) showcases a collection of pieces that cohere around hues of blue and imagery of water. With Cheever’s acclaimed short story as a curatorial center point, the exhibition immerses you in pools, lakes, and oceans depicted by renowned visual artists, including pieces by Cindy Sherman, Paul Thek, and Ed Ruscha, as well as the debut of Katherine Bradford’s latest body of work: eleven paintings created specifically for the exhibition.

As you walk through the breadth of cerulean images, a story comes to life on the gallery walls. You’ll notice that the exhibition focuses primarily on the figure—the body in water. Conjuring the glimmering pools that flow through Cheever’s story, the exhibition investigates night swimming, positioning the pool as an intimate, self-contained site for mystery and discovery. Immersed in the tones and textures of “The Swimmer,” you’ll feel the timeless power of the pool as an artistic symbol. Dike Blair’s oil-on-aluminum pool paintings glow with a mesmerizing sense of mystery, while Zoe Crosher’s Fujiflex archival prints capture the striking darkness of the ocean at night.

Taking in the range of paintings, photographs, and sculptures, you’ll notice how the collection evokes a narrative atmosphere that touches on the American Dream, ever-changing political landscapes, and the interplay between idealism and identity. Along with the profound narrative power of the curation, the exhibition is rife with tones, shapes, and textures that will captivate visitors of any age.

FLAG is free to the public and open Tuesday through Friday, 11 AM-5 PM, in
the summer. FLAG Art Foundation is at 545 W. 25th #9.

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