The Contemporary Still life

I recently visited the Horticultural Society of New York to see a fabulous exhibition entitled “Nature Morte”.  As Chris Murtha, Curator of The Hort writes in the press release, “This exhibition highlights three contemporary artists who utilize still life photography as a central part of their process.  It honors and subverts the traditions of the still life and explores how photography in turn has influenced the genre.”  I connected to the composition and clarity of Sharon Core’s work.  It also reminded me of a work by Lizzie Sanders after Cotan (1560-1627).

Core’s Early American, Watermelon and Blackberries is intentionally appropriated from works by 19th century American painter, Raphaelle Peale. It defers to the past but celebrates the 21st century, both centuries mingling in the picture with an obvious nod to the viewer to decide which they prefer.  I admire the use of photography in this genre, it pulls out the line of the objects so distinctly and closely compares to contemporary botanical painting where artists are practicing a traditional art form in modern times.  The type of contemporary botanical art I gravitate towards celebrates the same ideas.

Early American, Watermelon and Blackberries, 2009

Sharon Core, Early American Series, Watermelon and Blackberries, 2009, Chromogenic print, 14 x 18 inches



Lizzie Sanders' Still-life after Cotan, 2008, watercolor on paper, 28 x 35 inches


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