"A Bigger Splash" will take a new look at the dynamic relationship between performance and painting from 1950 to the present day. Taking its title from David Hockney's iconic 1967 image of a Californian swimming pool and Jack Hazan's docu-fiction film about Hockney's life, it will bring together a range of key works by artists including Yves Klein, Jackson Pollock, Cindy Sherman and Karen Kilimnik. Moving through half a century of work in painting, video and photography, and including archival and documentary material, this book will show how performance art has challenged and energised the medium of painting for successive generations. The book will contain three essays: the evolution of contemporary practice via a key period of experiment in the 1960s-70s; a consideration of the issue of pictorial space in painting with reference to history; and an examination of how the theoretical concept of 'performativity' relates to the issues played out within that high period of 'performance art'.
By offering readers new ways of looking at some familiar works in Tate's Collection, and yet also bringing to light recent and new works that experiment with performance and painting in a variety of ways, this promises to be one the most authorative and dynamic studies of the subject yet published.
Catherine Wood is Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance at Tate Modern. She is editor of The World as a Stage (2007), and co-editior of Pop Life: Art in a Material World (2009). With essays by Dieter Roelstraete and Eda Cufer.