diSTILLed Moments: Still Lives from the Permanent Collection

Opening day of new exhibit of 20th-century still life paintings and photographs.

When: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: S.B. Museum of Art, 1130 State St., Santa Barbara

Cost: $6 - $9

Age limit: All ages

Categories: Art (opening)


May 28 - September 18, 2011
Within a seemingly benign bowl of flowers or a succulent arrangement of fruit, a still life abounds with social and cultural messages. Still lifes can be a mirror of society or of the soul, a rediscovery of quotidian objects, or an expression of artistic harmony in which light, color, and form coalesce into a synchronous relationship. Eluding precise definition, a still life is simply a group of objects arranged into a coherent picture; yet the resulting composition is rarely literal.

One of the traditional genres of painting, still life was revitalized by the invention of photography. Still lifes offered the photographer complete control over composition and accommodated the long exposure time required by early cameras. Today, both photographers and painters create artistic order out of the chaos of over-abundant consumer production. Sometimes the artistic statement is an ironic commentary about modern manufacture; sometimes it is an appreciative hymn to progress and industry.

This exhibition of 20th-century still life paintings and photographs hints at the range and scope of a genre that has existed since the classical age of Greece. The messages imparted have changed over the centuries, but the genre offers the artist nearly limitless possibilities for expression–political messages, spiritual exploration, societal and cultural reflection–with the only limit being the artist’s imagination.

Phone: 805-963-4364

Event posted May 2, 2011
Last updated May 2, 2011


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