Still life is a genre that is nearly as old as art production itself. So much more than just static images of inanimate objects, still life is often injected with deep levels of irony, symbolism, and meaning. These concepts can change due to time, place, and culture, making the genre tantalizing in its reflection of an ideology or individual. One Colorado gallery is bringing this to the fore in a thought-provoking exhibition.
The term “still life” was likely coined during the 17th century and the genre became popular for its connotations and references to the transience of life, the fleeting nature of time and beauty, and the inevitability of death. It also became an efficient way for painters to showcase their ability to render convincing textures and the subtle effects of light on a variety of objects. Gallery 1261 in Denver, Colorado, seeks to highlight the individuality of 16 artists as viewed through their still life paintings. “The Object of Objects” will feature artists who “have all created work that falls under the category of still life but differentiate themselves in terms of style, point of view, color choice, and other various details. Each artist has an acute perspective that comes through in their work which sets them apart.”

Dianne Dunbar, “Sleepy Time Tea,” 18 x 14 in. Gallery 1261.

Gregory Block, “Joy,” oil on board, 26 x 20 in. Gallery 1261.

Kate Sammons’s “Stairs and Flowers” is a great example of the subtleties that often lie beneath the surface of a still life painting. Upon a quick glance, the picture appears to be a beautifully rendered bouquet of flowers. Be that as it may, Sammons has quietly included a staircase and hallway to the lower right of the canvas, the meanings of which are subjective to both artist and viewer. Meanwhile, Gregory Block’s “Joy” displays an unusual arrangement of scales, bottles, a box of Joy, and garlic. The high contrast of light and dark, black and white, seems to recall the cycle of life, as the garlic appears to be in decay. Indeed, viewers are sure to experience a range of emotions during their thought-provoking investigations of each piece in the exhibition.

Suchitra Bhosle, “Lemon Arrangement Under North Light,” 16 x 20 in. Gallery 1261.

Other artists featured in the exhibition include Mia Bergeron, Suchitra Bhosle, David Cheifetz, Dianne L. Massey Dunbar, Greg Gandy, David Gluck, Zoey Frank, Michael J. Lynch, Dan McCaw, Danny McCaw, John McCaw, C.W. Mundy, Kevin Weckbach, and Jordan Wolfson.
To learn more, visit Gallery 1261.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

Previous articleThrough the Malzahn Lens
Next articleOf Light, Shadow, and Beyond
Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here