Rosenberg & Co. is pleased to present Still Life: Variations on a Theme, a group exhibition examining how artists through the years have addressed the classic fine art subject of the still life. The show features works spanning nineteenth-century Impressionism to twentieth-century Modernism to the contemporary, and comprises a range of media such as painting, photography, and sculpture.
According to Pliny the Elder, the painter Zeuxis of 5th century B.C.E. Greece unveiled a sumptuous still life painting of grapes so convincingly hyper-realistic that birds flew at the canvas to peck at the image of the fruit. Over the centuries, the emphasis on different values and aspects of still life painting has shifted from an overarching importance on the illusionistic in ancient Greek art to, for example, the symbolic and metaphysical in an Italian Baroque or Dutch Golden Age vanitas painting. The Cubists utilized the conventional theme of the still life as a starting point for radical stylistic experimentation and innovation, fragmenting the ordinary accoutrements of daily life. Today, contemporary treatment of the still life encompasses both Maureen Chatfield’s vivid-hued, abstract paintings which develop Modernist concepts, as well as Edmund de Waal’s serenely restrained, monochromatic ceramics inspired by traditional Japanese pottery.
Rosenberg & Co.’s Still Life exhibition offers visitors an illustrative glimpse of a vast genre, with selections including sculpture by de Waal; photographs by Fred Stein; works on paper by Roger de la Fresnaye, Alberto Giacometti, Juan Gris, and Ben Nicholson; and paintings by Georges Braque, Prunella Clough, Henri Fantin-Latour, Donald Hamilton Fraser, and Louis Valtat.