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New! Float on with Toni Frissell 🏊‍♀️

Floating by Toni Frissell
8"x8" ($40) | 11"x11" ($85) | 16"x16" ($275) | 20"x20" ($675) | 30"x30" ($1,950)

Our dear friend Glynnis MacNicol somehow found time during her book tour to write the introduction for today’s release. In case you missed it, she also introduced L'Odalisque, which we launched last month in support and celebration of her sensational new memoir—and by sensational, we mean both that it is taking the world by storm, and all about sensation + pleasure. Floating by Toni Frissell is now our third Frissell photograph, and it’s such an honor, and very fitting to get the perspective of a trailblazing woman on the work of another.

—Team 20x200

Does anything quite capture the combination of leisure and freedom that comes with summer like the pool? A blue cool postage stamp among the waves of heat. A way to be released from the body while also being fully at one with it.   

When I think of the ideal swimming pool the first thing that comes to mind is the scene from The Philadelphia Story. Katharine Hepburn strutting down the diving board in her striped one-piece and launching herself into the pool. “My she was yar,” she says to Cary Grant about the toy replica he’s made of their sailboat the True Love. But she just as easily been referring to the pool: “easy to handle, quick to the helm, fast, right.”   

If Katharine Hepburn’s athleticism feels like too much effort in these very hot days, turn yourself towards the another great silver screen pool, the one featured in the 1969 French film La Piscine starring Romy Schneider and Alain Delon. It is the other starring character in a film filled with ultra beautiful people. Gorgeous and languorous like the stars. In this case a place for lounging; for lovemaking.   

And that is the thing about pools. You can be active or at ease. Moving forward or returning to the original state of being enveloped by water.   

Toni Frissel’s Floating manages to capture both.   

Frissel made her name in the mid-Twentieth Century as the person who moved fashion photography outside. Her photos are renowned for their activity and perceived candidness. After working as a volunteer during the war—becoming the official photographer for the Womens’ Army Corp and traveling to the front on multiple occasions—she returned Stateside to become the first woman photographer for Sports Illustrated.   

In Frissel’s Floating the water again takes center stage, or shares it anyway, as beautiful and captivating as the women in it. Despite their repose you get the sense these women are in command of their bodies. Have agency over some parts of their lives. Are, in this moment, alive in the way water can make you feel even as you turn to it for relaxation or solace.   

—Glynnis MacNicol 

More work by Toni Frissell:

Tags: new art