With its bold blue and pink brushstrokes this work exuberates the carefree joy of swimming. The pool that is so ubiquitous in Hockney’s LA period is here transformed from the still, flat style of A Bigger Splash to a more transparent lithograph, filled with figures – or perhaps just the same figure repeated as they swim lengths – and movement. A red lilo floats on the surface of the pool looking like a section of an overstuffed armchair and presenting an image of relaxation which is at odds with the vigorous exercises of the swimmer(s). Hockney’s brushstrokes on the lithograph stone are hugely expressive and suggest he may have been using tusche (diluted lithographic ink) in order to achieve this watery and free effect. In this way the work appears almost fauvist in style, recalling the work of Matisse, particularly in the splash of water in the right hand side and the black outlines of trees or plants that act as a background. Hockney moved to LA in 1964, in search of the sharp light and shadows he had seen in Hollywood movies as a student. Comparing the move to ‘Van Gogh going to Arles’, he sought to escape what he saw as the greyness of post-war England, and in Afternoon Swimming it appears he succeeded.