Haynes Galleries presents
“Ordinary Objects: Extraordinary Still Lifes,”
February 8 to March 2, 2013
Reception: Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. February 8, 2013

NASHVILLE — What could possibly be exciting about old trunks? A leather briefcase? A bottle of ketchup? In the hands of contemporary masters, quite a bit. While the genre is as old as paint itself, this exhibit of watercolors and oils puts the “life” in still life. Through the works of 20 realist painters “Ordinary Objects: Extraordinary Still Lifes” evidences the range and beauty of this long-standing genre.

A unique approach, still life is the only form of realism in which the artist is in control of the subject. From the careful placement of objects, the artist creates meaning beyond the surface. Take, for example, Nick Raynolds stunning triptych, “Man and All the Things He Keeps.” His precise, yet textural rendering of trunks and cases at first glance may seem simply nostalgic. Yet, every element of this piece – parchment falling loosely onto a trunk, dark shadows against a white wall – works in careful tandem to suggest meaning and evoke emotion.

Grace DeVito approaches still life in an entirely different way. Her compositions focus on a few small objects, transforming familiar scenes into something more. “Heinz 57” elevates a diner table to a stirring moment of reflection. The light is glowing and dim, the style of the Old Masters with a fresh spin.

Karen Horn’s masterpieces are vibrant and lush. Drawing endless inspiration from her garden, she paints spectacular watercolors of graceful, elegant flowers bathed in light. She paints slowly, meticulously, and with a surgeon’s precision. The resulting paintings have incredible depth - layers and layers color built upon each other, light and shadow creating form that leaps off of the paper.

Yet another approach to the genre, Krista Schoening’s warm still lifes are bright and inviting. Her paintings burst with color and light. Schoening’s subjects are pleasantly domestic objects, set in close relation to each other – a kettle reflecting the colors a teacup, a flower casting a shadow on a small bowl.

Other exhibition highlights include the miniature, delicate works of Anna Wakitsch, the large, dramatic paintings of Matthew Deric Gore, and the impossibly real trompe l’oeil of Michael Theise. Also featured are some of our newest artists, Judy White, Vincent Giarrano, and more.

“Ordinary Objects: Extraordinary Still Lifes” showcases 20 of the finest American realist painters working today. These works are not only a testament to the craft, but also an invitation to look beyond the surface, to see things more deeply. To feel the power of a flower’s petal, a tattered trunk, or a lone teacup. And ultimately, to find meaning in the simplest and most beautiful of objects.