Snails Space with Vari-Lites, "Painting as Performance"

  • David Hockney, Snails Space with Vari-Lites, "Painting as Performance", 1995-1996, oil, acrylic, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1995-96, David Hockney, Gift of Nan Tucker McEvoy, 2003.31A-X

Publication Label

Snails Space unfolds as a silent performance that evokes David Hockney's experience of designing sets and costumes for operas even as he lost his hearing. In the absence of sound, pure visual experience compensates and suggests a different narrative to every viewer. The installation consists of two attached canvases and a floor piece that look like a tiny, tangled world blown up to a preposterous size. Three-dimensional and painted patterns and shapes suggest enchanted forests and streams. These appear to advance and recede with the changing colors of the lights, controlled by a nine-minute computer program; viewers follow these shifts as they would the episodes of a stage play.

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.

Title
Snails Space with Vari-Lites, "Painting as Performance"
Artists
Date
1995-1996
On View
Dimensions
overall: 84 x 260 x 135 in. (213.4 x 660.4 x 342.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Nan Tucker McEvoy

Mediums
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
2003.31A-X
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI