Allen Jones, Santa Monica Shore, 1977
From the Tate Collection:
‘Santa Monica Shore’ was painted in the first half of 1977 when Allen Jones was living in a modern tower block overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica, California, while a guest teacher in the Painting Department of the University of California, Los Angeles. The painting is based on a 35mm. colour slide which Jones had taken showing the view from the balcony of his flat. The space was defined by a wall on the left and an adjoining building on the right. The space between the two buildings gave the balcony railing the illusion of being warped. At the time Jones was teaching in California the sculptor James Turrell was giving a series of lectures there about the views from the centre of volcanoes; Turrell was much involved with questions of illusion.
The legs of the seated woman at the bottom left are also a reference to the artist and the spectator. The seated woman is taking her own photograph by means of an extension lead. During Jones’s stay in California sea mists were frequent and one partially obscures the sunset in ‘Santa Monica Shore’.