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Sunday 09.06.09

« Experiencing Art At PICA's TBA Opening | Main | Echo Gap »

Art and tennis?

Laurent Perbos, Aire 2005

It is US Open time and I'm watching Nadal play Alamagro right now... just for fun please indulge this as Art and tennis have an incredibly long history together considering Caravaggio etc. In fact it's probably where I developed a kinesthetic sense of schematic space, which then made understanding abstract art much easier in High School when I became interested in more avant-garde art. Over the years, I've even noticed that art aware tennis players often love Agnes Martin and Sol LeWitt. Makes sense.

Then there is the fact that the art world loves to play tennis. Michael Kimmelman blogs about it, Tyler Green tweets about it and I've heard even Marizio Cattelan plays a little. Locally, tennis is very popular in the art scene; Jane Beebe, Cris Moss, Bruce Guenther, Kathy Abraham, Joe Macca (who is chicken to play me), Justin Oswald, Jennifer Gately and Harrell Fletcher have been known to play. Even Jesse Hayward, who is the runaway star of this year's TBA visual arts offerings used to be a teaching pro. Of course here at PORT Alex and I play...during a doubles match on Friday play kept getting interrupted because the other team kept wanting to discuss Andrea Zittel.

Anyways, here are some more areas where art and tennis' Venn diagrams intersect:

Jacques-Louis David, Tennis Court Oath, 1791

Jack Daws' Carravagio's Tennis Trophy

A Sol LeWitt next to the tennis courts at the MCA Chicago

Richard Long on Chinati's tennis courts

Warhol painted the happy couple of McEnroe and ONiell ;)

Remy-Veenhuizen's tennis ball seating for the Boijmans museum

Nicholas Nixon's Tennis Court

Sally Cleveland's Car on Tennis Courts, 2008

Laurent Perbos

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 06, 2009 at 11:31 | Comments (2)


I think I saw Caravaggio's trophy on a 2007 episode of Antiques Roadshow. I believe it was in Dayton.

Posted by: AZwordGeek [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 7, 2009 11:21 PM

Thanks for wonderful pictures and connecting tennis and art. I ,too, play tennis and made some art inspired by watching Wimbledon on tv a few years ago.

Posted by: joanna [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2010 09:15 PM

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