This show combines works on paper—watercolors, graphics, and photographs—with sculptural objects from RAM’s collection. In addition to addressing the concept of still life in various ways, it reveals the diversity of the collection. Works included are realistic, abstract, and even surrealistic, by artists with regional, national, and international reputations, such as Matt Eskuche, Tony Hepburn, James Makins, Bernard Palchick, Judith La Scola, John Wilde, and Robert Williamson.
With the range of objects available in RAM’s permanent collection, the museum presents contemporary artists that have responded to still lifes realistically or abstractly,as well as “vignettes” of objects grouped as still life composition according to subject matter or visual characteristics. Objects are arranged in non-traditional ways in order to encourage guests to view these works in new and,perhaps, unexpected contexts. For example, Farraday Ayne Newsome’s fruit-encrusted teapot is juxtaposed with Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace’s Fruit Still Life in homage to the presence of fruit in so many historical still lifes. Ettore Sottsas’ silver-plated Murmansk Fruit Dish is paired with the metallic woven-mesh baskets of Chunghi Choo to explore “luster” and objects that evoke luxury.