Thursday, September 30, 2010


CONTACT:  Mark Segal
                  631-283-2118, ext 22


SOUTHAMPTON, NY  9/28/2010 — American Still Life: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum, an exhibition of more than forty paintings, sculptures, and works on paper dating from 1871 to the present, will be on view at the Parrish from October 10 through November 28, 2010. Organized by Alicia Longwell, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education, American Still Life is the third in a series of exhibitions drawn exclusively from the Museum’s permanent collection, following in the wake of American Landscapes: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum and Fairfield Porter: Raw—The Creative Process of an American Master.
          American Still Life explores the historical precedent and the evolution of the practice in the work of thirty-one artists in the Parrish’s permanent collection: Nell Blaine, Barbara Bloom, Warren Brandt, John Button, William Merritt Chase, Nicolai Cikovsky, Michael Combs, George Constant, Jim Dine, Jane Freilicher, William Glackens, Philip Guston, Robert Kulicke, Robert Lazzarini, Li-lan, Roy Lichtenstein, Sheridan Lord, Henry Muhrman, Robert De Niro, Fairfield Porter, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Dan Rizzie, James Rosenquist, Casimir Rutkowski, Raphael Soyer, Donald Sultan, William Aiken Walker, Fred Wilson, Jane Wilson, and Joe Zucker.
          “Still life painting has traditionally been regarded as a ‘lesser art’ when compared to the loftier subjects of religious and history painting, landscape, and portraiture,” according to Alicia Longwell. It was not until the sixteenth century in Holland that the trappings of everyday life became seen as worthy subjects for artists, and the resulting paintings became valued objects.
          Once it was established as a viable interest, the still life became an important feature in American colonial painting. In 1871, a youthful William Merritt Chase chose a still life subject to demonstrate his prodigious technique. Still Life with Fruit (1871) acknowledges European models but has “a rustic simplicity that is purely American,” according to Longwell. Still Life with Cockatoo was painted ten years later and reflects Chase’s study at Munich’s Royal Academy and exposure to the virtuoso brushwork of European Old Masters.
          For those mid-twentieth-century artists associated with realism—including Jane Freilicher, Fairfield Porter, Robert De Niro, and Nell Blaine—the still life offered abundant opportunities to depict the concrete world in visual terms. A number of artists have chosen their own studios as subjects: Fairfield Porter in Painting Materials (ca. 1949), Philip Guston in The Visitors (1975), Jane Freilicher in Bottles of Linseed Oil (1967), and Jim Dine in Little Blue Palette (1963). For James Rosenquist, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roy Lichtenstein, all of whom are represented in the exhibition, the object, no matter how ordinary, was of primary importance.     
          Among contemporary artists, Joe Zucker, Dan Rizzie, and Donald Sultan have redefined the still life, bringing an active engagement with surface and texture to the forefront and affirming the ongoing future of the genre.
          An opening reception will take place Saturday, October 9. Alicia Longwell and Joe Zucker will discuss still life painting, past and present, at 6 pm in the Museum’s concert hall. A reception will follow at 7 pm. Admission is free for Parrish members, $10 for nonmembers. Reservations are required for the panel discussion and may be secured by telephoning 631-283-2118, ext. 41.
Roy Lichtenstein. Apple with Brushstrokes, ca. 1984. Collage on paper. 29 1/2 x 26 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Gift of Dorothy and Roy Lichtenstein.

William Merritt Chase. Still Life with Fruit, 1871. Oil on panel. 30 1/2 x 25 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Littlejohn Collection.

Jane Freilicher. Bottles of Linseed Oil, 1967. Oil on canvas. 20 1/8 x 24 1/8 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Gift of Larry Rivers.

The presentation of American Still Life: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum and its accompanying programs are made possible, in part, with generous underwriting support from the Corcoran Real Estate Group.

Major support is provided by Barbara Slifka and Helene B. Stevens.
Additional funding is provided by Brenda Earl and Allison Morrow.

The Museum's programs are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties, and the property taxpayers from the Southampton School District and the Tuckahoe Common School District.

About the Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum is an American art museum located in Southampton, New York. Founded in 1897, the museum celebrates the artistic legacy of Long Island’s East End, one of America’s most vital creative centers. Since the mid 1950s the Museum has grown from a small village art gallery into an important art museum with a collection of more than 2,600 works of art from the nineteenth century to the present. It includes such contemporary painters and sculptors as John Chamberlain, Chuck Close, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Elizabeth Peyton, as well as such masters as Dan Flavin, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and Willem de Kooning. The Parrish houses among of the world’s most important collections of works by the preeminent American Impressionist William Merritt Chase and by the groundbreaking post-war American realist painter Fairfield Porter. A vital cultural resource serving a diverse audience, the Parrish organizes and presents changing exhibitions and offers a dynamic schedule of creative and engaging public programs including lectures, films, performances, concerts, and studio classes for all ages. On July 19, 2010, the Parrish broke ground on a new building designed by internationally acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron. The 34,500-square-foot facility will triple the Museum’s current exhibition space and allow for the simultaneous presentation of loan exhibitions and installations drawn from the permanent collection.


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