The Illusive History of the Still Life in Modern Art: An International Exhibition

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The Illusive History of the Still Life in Modern Art: An International Exhibition


The John Natsoulas Gallery is pleased to announce the International Still Life Exhibition. The exhibition will run from January 3rd-January 27th, 2018. The opening reception will be on January 6th, from 7-9pm.


John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First Street, Davis, CA 95616.


The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts International Still-Life exhibition will feature artists from England, Poland, Spain, and Italy, as well as artists from our own United States. This exhibition will bring together historical and contemporary references for the still life with paintings by Guy Diehl, Boyd Gavin, Frank Damiano, Gregory Kondos, Wayne Thiebaud and other renowned US artists; international artists will include James Bland (England), Ilaria Roselli Del Turco (Italy) and Agnieszka Nienartowicz (Poland) among others.

While still life painting was a popular genre in the ancient world, it declined after that and didn’t re-emerge as an independent genre until the 16th century, when it was considered “lowly,” because still lifes did not involve human subject matter. By the nineteenth century, however, the still life became a significant genre and flourished through the work of artists such as Henri Fantin-Latour, Paul Cezanne, and Vincent van Gogh.

“Like other traditional genres such as landscape and portraiture, still life has experienced both a dramatic resurgence and a radical transformation. The boundaries of still life have now been stretched in every conceivable direction, often crossing into other categories. Still life is no longer still: it has moved not only off the table, but off the wall and into three dimensions.” –Susan Landauer 1

The wonderful thing about this exhibition is that it shows over 30 different versions of the still life, from the abstraction to the photorealism of the still life, from the three dimensionalities of the still life to the concept of pushing the still life to the limit. The still life is a lonely painting profession, as it usually occurs because you are alone in your studio and have nothing to paint, so whatever is in the studio at the time is arranged for balance, color, form and texture to be painted, which is the formula for a great still life.





  1. Susan Landauer. The Not-So-Still Life. 2003. San Jose Museum of Art