The Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present 1606-1907, an exhibition of new works by Sharon Core exploring the subject of floral still-life painting. Similar to the artist’s earlier work, the series examines the relationship of representational painting to the medium of photography. But rather than focusing on a specific artist or time period, as in the previous Thiebaud and Early American works, the new series references a pictorial convention within painting as a whole. The artist’s sources range from the style of early Flemish painters, such as Bosschaert and Jan Brueghel, to the Modernists Odilon Redon and Fantin-Latour.
The work engages time in both a sense of history and temporality. Flowers are the most temporal of objects: fragile, changeable, and short-lived, a flower’s bloom opens, bends, fades and falls according to degrees of light, temperature, water, and weather. It assumes its character from its atmosphere. As a subject for art, however, flowers have been portrayed for centuries by artists of all stripes and have an established permanence in the lexicon of art history.
It is between these polarities of transience and permanence that the current work is situated. With an eye towards the flower in its natural state and as well as the styles of representation that attempt to order, organize, celebrate, and lament a fleeting symbol of beauty throughout history, Core has thoroughly explored the nature of the painted bouquet.
In order for a photograph to be made, the subject must exist in real time and space. Unlike a painting, nothing can be idealized or imagined. As in previous work, Core made a detailed study of the manipulation of props: paint, light, and in this case, flowers. She cultivated specific types of flowers – broken viral tulips, opium poppies, heirloom roses – and worked with them and their vagaries.
Sharon Core was born in New Orleans in 1965. She holds a BFA in painting from the University of Georgia and an MFA in Photography from Yale University. Her work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Guggenheim Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Princeton Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, among others.