With its plane of blue-green water broken by dark shadows and glimpses of sunburnt skin, Swimming Pool is a colorful and complex image. Making visible a deep, still pool of water is a complicated photographic task. Its transparency makes depth and form difficult to ascertain. To solve this problem, Franco Fontana carefully composed this photograph, utilizing limited elements to define the space. The placement of the figure at the lower right and the shadows cast on the pool bottom create a visual indication of distance, while the ripples across the water define that obscure surface. Fontana focuses on these complex visual puzzles. He notes, “Photography should not reproduce the visible; it should make the invisible visible.”

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Franco Fontana, Italian, born 1933
Swimming Pool
Chromogenic print
Image: 7 3/8 × 11 in. (18.7 × 28 cm) Sheet: 8 1/4 × 11 5/8 in. (21 × 29.6 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by Manfred Heiting, John Parsley, Anne Wilkes Tucker, Clinton T. Willour, and Joan Morgenstern in honor of Denise Bethel

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

The artist; Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin, Houston, 1986; [FotoFest Fine Print Auction, Houston, March 21, 2016]; purchased by MFAH, 2016.