Picks and Pans Review: Pools

updated 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Kelly Klein

Why are we drawn to pools? Because life on Earth began in the water? For the bliss of buoyancy? Or is it the irresistible smell of chlorine? Klein doesn't speculate in her modest and minimal text. But she does present 187 superb and superbly reproduced color and black-and-white photographs, by names ranging in ethos and era from Stieglitz to Mapplethorpe. As you would expect, the wife of Calvin Klein celebrates the pool as symbol of luxury. But there is much more: the pool as temple of athletic endeavor, as theater for the contemplation of beauty (both architectural and anatomical), as civic glory and backyard playpen and—mirroring the infinite sky or cupping arboreal shadows—as shimmering oracle, zen den. Indoor, outdoor, on ship (below decks on the Queen Mary) or shore (Acapulco, Sydney), in these pages the water's always fine. (Knopf, $100)

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