Joan Semmel

Beach Series

1985—87

Amagansett Afternoon, 1985

Oil On Canvas

78h x 120w in (198.12h x 304.80w cm)

Beachbody, 1985

Oil on canvas

68h x 68w in (172.72h x 172.72w cm)

Double Torso, 1987

Oil On Canvas

20.13h x 30.25w in (51.12h x 76.84w cm)

Pasture, 1983

Oil On Canvas

72h x 96w in (182.88h x 243.84w cm)

Manger a Trois, 1983

Oil On Canvas

72h x 96w in (182.88h x 243.84w cm)

Woman With Towel, 1989

Oil On Canvas

34h x 24w in (86.36h x 60.96w cm)

Mirror Mirror, 1988

Oil On Canvas

68h x 78w in (172.72h x 198.12w cm)

Triangles, 1986

Oil On Canvas

68.50h x 78.50w in (173.99h x 199.39w cm)

Respite, 1987

Oil On Canvas

36h x 48w in (91.44h x 121.92w cm)

Silhouette, 1987

Oil on canvas

24h x 36w in (60.96h x 91.44w cm) 

Description

Since 1971, Joan Semmel has spent her summers in East Hampton, NY. In 1987, she established a permanent studio in Springs, NY where painted her Beach series (1985—87). Unlike many of her works, which isolate figures against expressive grounds of color, in these works, Semmel positions bodies in a landscape. This new way of working was characteristic of Semmel’s painterly approach in the 1980s, which was a decade when she began to push her practice in new directions. Writing about this period, Semmel stated, “I combined realist and painterly methods insisting that a unified style was not preordained.” With this series, she aimed to communicate the psychological experience of feeling lost in a crowd—alone and isolated even on a crowded beach.