AN ASSOCIATION OF
STILL LIFE PAINTERS
Richard La Presti
Ben Frank Moss
AS LONG AS ARTISTS have been drawn to still-life painting--and the genre goes back to the ancient Greeks, Zeuxis being on of them--they have used table surface to hold or frame the painting's subject matter. The table is perhaps the most ancient and arguably the most necessary piece of human furniture. It is this surface to which we are drawn to share meals, write letters, host meetings, celebrate holidays, create objects of various kinds. Perhaps only the bed is more central to a dwelling, more assertive of the fact that "humans live here."
Because of its relatively neutral character, the table's surface can, for some painters, metamorphose into an altar or stage; for others, it remains determinedly the homely domestic surface of the kitchen or dining room. Either way, the tabletop continues to resonate as subject matter in part because we all live with and around tables; in part because each painter, using the tabletop as an "arena for meditation" (Jed Perl's phrase), somehow manages to make that familiar surface distinctive or wonderfully strange.
Since our founding in 1994, the painters in Zeuxis have mounted over two dozen exhibitions in a wide variety of venues, from college and university galleries to small museums to commercial gallery spaces in New York City. As a group we continue to share interest in a perceptual response to nature and a search for aesthetic value; however, it is our differences, the multiplicity of visions and variety of painterly approaches that excite us most.
Tabletop Arenas is our third traveling exhibition, and, as has been our practice, we mark it with the publication of a catalog. We have also continued another tradition: inviting artists to show with us whose work we admire. To them, thanks; and just as much, thanks to our viewers for their good, long, hard looking.
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