What is the role or function of the still life in the 21st Century? Does the contemporary still life speak of the rituals of daily life; ask the viewer to contemplate the social, moral, or historical significance of the objects depicted; or simply address the formal properties of the object?
Each of the artists in this exhibit answers that question in a thought provoking way.
Eric Elliott's still life paintings "stem from an interest in the grey area where one object ends and another begins." He's "interested in the air between objects, in the ability to compress perspective; bringing the ground up or pushing the foreground back." Suzanne Beal, Art Ltd., Sept. 2009
James Florschutz's "sculpture has always been a way for (him) to overlay order on his environment and to make sense of a seemingly chaotic world. Often (his) works uses the grid as a matrix to express (his) thoughts and feelings." (artist's statement)
Marie Koetje's "paintings are loosely based on imagined scenarios of ordinary spaces integrated with, or invaded by, an aggregation of signals, devices, gadgets, and streams of information. (Koetje) usually begins each piece by constructing a rational pictorial space which serves as a backdrop for these otherwise immaterial and intangible components to take shape and become visible ..." (artist's statement)
Caroline LeFevre's photographs use "the archetype of traditional still life imagery to contextualize the interplay between the digital and non-digital in art. This series defines a reaction to the perceived roles of consumer culture and digital technologies in society." (artist's statement)
Erika Leppmann's photographs speak of our idealized views of domiciles. In Leppmann's work Monopoly Houses representing the very small, contained, and tidy world of our expectations are juxaposed with the ominous, disorienting "real world".
Joseph Park's paintings "explore the realm between reality and fiction"; between what has been observed and what has been reimagined with his "prismatic" effects. In Park's paintings time and space are at some junctures frozen and at other times flutter wildly. (Joey Veltkamp, New American Painting blog, July 8, 2011)
Susan Seubert's photographs come from her series and each "illustrates an idea relating to restraint in either a literal of symbolic fashion. The (photographs) create a space where the viewer may contemplate the meanings, implications, and complexities of the word 'restraint'." (artist's statement) "Each of these photographs is a unique ambrotype, a wet plate collodian process in which a thin negative image on glass appears as positive by mounting it against a black background." (Froelick Gallery Press Release, April 2011).
Special thanks to the Augen Gallery, the Froelick gallery and the Elizabeth Leach Gallery of Portland, OR and the James Harris Gallery of Seattle for loaning art works. And thanks, as always, to the Clark College Associated Student Body for funding.