Haynes Galleries presents the work of Michael Theise, Philip Michelson, and Matthew Deric Gore

NASHVILLE— Board games and baseballs, candy and clowns, tin dogs and toy soldiers. Though the subject matter may be child’s play, the artistry is anything but in a trio of vignette shows at Haynes Galleries. As part of “The Still Life: Mundane to the Sublime,” Haynes Galleries will present smaller shows within a show by the artists Michael Theise, Philip Michelson, and Matthew Deric Gore. The Theise and Michelson vignettes will be on view through March 8 while the Gore vignette will continue until March 22 at Haynes Galleries, on the Music Row Roundabout.

Theise is a master of trompe l’oeil, and he approaches the genre with tongue firmly in cheek, making high art out of objects that are anything but precious. There are plenty of visual puns, plenty of inside jokes — in The Fruits of Who’s Labor? Theise parrots a Netherlandish still life, while his Monopoly pairs a vintage version of the board game with crisp, American thousand-dollar and 500-dollar bills. Art history lovers will appreciate not only his cleverness, but the way he honors the genre while creating his own allegory.

With his painstaking technique and incredible attention to detail, Michelson’s photorealistic paintings breathe new life into the playthings of years past. He treats his subjects — a playground ball, a single jack, a tin toy dog — with reverence, coaxing emotion and nostalgia out of every scuff and scratch. He renders surfaces so beautifully that his paintings practically beg to be touched. His work is the perfect blend of emotion and technical precision.

There is something lovely, bizarre and utterly arresting about the oil paintings of Matthew Deric Gore, whose work is concurrently featured at the Centennial Art Center in Nashville. His assemblages of seemingly random objects are often tied together by a thematic or formal thread. As a result, his paintings inspire intriguing, imaginative, often humorous narratives. For example, Cleanliness is Next to Clownliness has all of the elements of a classic still life — dark background, illuminated foreground, rich brushstrokes — but the tableau is far from traditional. Rather than fruit, Gore’s Chinese bowl overflows with a porcelain clown doll and a scrub brush, flanked by a plush clownfish and a plush crab who appear to be having a tea party. It’s at once jarring and hilarious.

This trio of vignette shows is not to be missed. Stop by Haynes Galleries and play a while — this lineup is seriously fun.