23rd September, 2021 / 14:00 - 17:00
22nd April, 2016
Curated by Geraint Evans
Sophie Birch, G L Brierley, Simon Callery, Mark Fairnington, Ana Genoves, John Greenwood, Paul Housley, Damien Meade, Donal Moloney
“Still life robs the world of human presence, and narrative value. Its illusionism implies an object world that has dispensed with human attention and in a sense makes human attention and the human subject obsolete. And its vision breaks the bond of life between the subject who looks and the world that is seen.”
Norman Bryson: Chardin and the text of Still Life 1989
This exhibition is concerned with the painting of objects and the thingness of things. It explores the relationship between the subject and object, the observer and observed. Although the artists included are partly engaged with the still-life tradition – with vanitas or the Spanish bodegón, – their subjects and contexts are far more uncertain and wide-ranging.
Within this show there are representations of crudely constructed models (in the case of Meade) or ambiguous architectural forms (Genovés). There are references to the body (Meade, Fairnington), sumptuous non-things (Brierley, Greenwood) and vanitas and the memento mori (Housley, Brierley, Greenwood, Moloney). At times these objects seem to be in a state of collapse or degeneration (Birch, Callery). There are paintings that read as objects (Callery) and objects that suggest the painterly (Genovés). There are moments of bathos and abjection. The objects depicted are, at once, familiar and other.