Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Desert
Edwards Harris Center
  • Home
  • Complete Events Calendar - filter

Still Life: Capturing the Moment

August 7th, 2015 – February 21st, 2016
Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert

In a creative mix of art works from the museum’s holdings and on loan from private collections, the exhibition looks beyond the classical definition of a “still life” to explore why this esteemed genre continues to compel artists today. Throughout time, visual artists have delighted in the excitement of transforming commonplace objects into symbolic encounters with the world and self. Bringing together paintings, sculptures, photographs, and a surprising variety of other media, this exhibition studies the powerful psychological and associational value of altering time, place, and imagery into an artistic still life.

Bruce Cohen, Untitled (Interior with Violin and Anemones), 2001, oil on canvas, Museum purchase with funds from the Mr. and Mrs. Will Richeson Jr. Acquisition Fund, the Lucia Anderson Halsey Acquisition Fund and the Dr. Farel Rosenberg Acquisition Fund, (c) Bruce Cohen
Agnes Pelton, Lehua Bloom, Kilauea, beside the crater of the Volcano, 1925, oil on canvas board, gift of Marjorie and Jim Treas
Mineo Mizuno, Teardrop Winter #27A, 2009, ceramic and glazes, two parts, museum purchase with funds provided by Donna MacMillan (c) Mineo Mizuno
Ori Gersht, Still images from 'On Reflection', 2014, triptych HD film for framed LCD (color, sound), 5:00 min., (c) Ori Gersht, and courtesy of Ori Gersht and CRG Gallery, New York
Ori Gersht, Still images from 'On Reflection', 2014, triptych HD film for framed LCD (color, sound), 5:00 min.,, (c) Ori Gersht, and courtesy of Ori Gersht and CRG Gallery, New York
Ori Gersht, Still images from 'On Reflection', 2014, triptych HD film for framed LCD (color, sound), 5:00 min., (c) Ori Gersht, and courtesy of Ori Gersht and CRG Gallery, New York
Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace, A Round of Years, 1987, blown glass; painted, lacquered and sanded alder branch; fabricated bentwood hoops, gift of Maurice Rosenfield in loving memory of Lois F. Rosenfield (c) Joey Kirkpatrick & Flora Mace
D.J. Hall, Tropico, 1994, gouache on gessoed board, Courtesy of the artist (c) D.J. Hall
Helen Lundeberg, Reflections, 1982, acrylic on canvas, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alan Leslie (c) The Feitelson/Lundeberg Art Foundation
Michael Childers, Rachel Rosenthal, Los Angeles, 1999, 1999, toned gelatin silver print, gift of the Michael Childers (c) Michael Childers
Evan Holloway, Dark and Light, 2012, bronze with patina, edition 1/3, Museum purchase with funds provided by Donna MacMillan (c) Evan Holloway
Ginny Ruffner, An X-Ray Vision, 1989, lampworked glass and mixed media, museum purchase with funds provided by the Women's Committee Woman of the Year Award 1996, private contributions, and the Contemporary Art Council 2005 (c) Ginny Ruffner

In a creative mix of art works from the museum’s holdings and on loan from private collections, the exhibition looks beyond the classical definition of a “still life” to explore why this esteemed genre continues to compel artists today. Throughout time, visual artists have delighted in the excitement of transforming commonplace objects into symbolic encounters with the world and self. Bringing together paintings, sculptures, photographs, and a surprising variety of other media, this exhibition studies the powerful psychological and associational value of altering time, place, and imagery into an artistic still life.

In the early twentieth century, photographers such as Cy DeCosse, Baron Adolf De Meyer, and Paul Strand focused on capturing the sensual elements of light, texture, and form in everyday life. Today, contemporary photographers including Tom Baril, Michael Childers, and John Dugdale reveal the passion to document, describe, and celebrate material pleasures and possessions.

Many still lifes require meticulous renderings and pure technical virtuosity. In seductive paintings by Bruce Cohen, Helen Lundeberg, and Paul Wonner, these masterful skills are employed to transform the commonplace into visual illusions of imaginative and complex beauty. New media installations by artists such as Jennifer Steinkamp and Catherine Chalmers expand beyond the genre’s conventions to produce alluring contemporary innovations, while artist Ori Gersht creates a mesmerizing film that literally explodes the idea of still life. Taken together, this exhibition offers a refreshing, pleasurable, and often surprising look at the art of still life.

This exhibition is organized by Palm Springs Art Museum and funded by Erik E. and Edith H. Bergstrom Foundation. Additional support provided by Marion Rosenthal and Contemporary Art Council Silver Sponsors Naomi and Jeffrey Caspe and Tom Minder. 

Media Sponsor: The Desert Sun

 

Exhibition Season Sponsors: Dorothy Meyerman and Marion and Bob Rosenthal