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Staff arts picks
In honor of the season, The Times’ Arts & Life staff offers three “scenes” from art, film and poetry that just scream “summer.”
Simultaneously colorful and wistful, it stands alone — a folded-up beach umbrella casting a rippling shadow over an empty stretch of sand in late-afternoon light. David Hockney’s 1971 acrylic on canvas is a languid, mysterious masterpiece. Does it portend the end of summer? Or simply a pause in seaside activities? Painted at a time when Hockney was trying to get over a painful break-up, “Beach Umbrella” is rich with sunlit melancholy and suggestion.
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer
A stifling New York heat wave — the kind that makes you feel as if you can’t move until sundown. Mysterious doings in the apartment across the way. Grace Kelly, looking the very picture of summer in a floral-print dress. Hitchcock’s matchless thriller “Rear Window” was first released in early August of 1954 — and it remains the perfect summer movie. Watch it with an old-fashioned fan whirring.
Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic
‘Bed in Summer’
“In winter I get up at night/And dress by yellow candle-light./In summer, quite the other way,/I have to go to bed by day.” Remember when the hardest part of the season was being sent to bed while it was light outdoors? Robert Louis Stevenson’s simple poem captures that feeling perfectly.
Melissa Davis, NWArts&Life editor