Barbara Bloom American

Not on view

The complex historical, literary, and psychological resonances of Bloom’s Foursome are rendered through elegantly simple means. Central to the installation is a black-and-white inkjet print of a famous photograph staged by Bruce Davidson at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1960. That year, Yves Montand moved into a bungalow at the hotel to film the movie Let’s Make Love by George Cukor. Montand and his wife, the actress Simone Signoret, grew close with their neighbors there, his co-star Marilyn Monroe and her then-husband, the playwright Arthur Miller. Davidson set the stage for his shoot by having the Montands host a dinner party for the Millers.

In the particular shot that the artist selected for Foursome, the group has sat down for dinner, and a complex web of gazes plays out. Signoret, at left, looks towards her husband Montand, who has his back to the photographer. He instead gazes at the blonde Monroe (with whom he is about to initiate an affair), and she instead turns to look at her husband Miller. Miller looks back towards Signoret, completing the circle. Bloom replicates this quadruple gaze of filmic desire in the sculptural element of the work, a small, oval pool table in the same, silvery toned, medium gray of the photograph’s mat and the wall behind it. Its fragile pockets are red wine goblets similar to those on the table in the picture, while the four cues with mirrored tips replicate the trajectories of each of the protagonists’ glances.

No image available

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.