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Still Lifes on the Move

Still Lifes on the Move
August 28, 2019 By: Melanie Groves, Manager of Exhibitions and Registrar

Still Lifes on the Move

The next time you visit The Frick Art Museum (maybe before A Sporting Vision closes on September 8), be sure to visit the Jacobean Room for a rare treat. For a short time, we have created a beautiful installation of still lifes from across the collection, including three paintings that are normally displayed at Clayton, a photograph that was brought out of storage, and a recently acquired video work. 

Still detail of Transforming Five Tulips in a Wan-Li Vase
Rob and Nick Carter (English b. 1968, English b. 1969)
Transforming Five Tulips in a Wan-Li Vase, 2017.
32-minute looped film, framed iPad.

Envisioned as a celebration of our 2018 acquisition, Transforming Five Tulips in a Wan-Li Vase, Chief Curator and Director of Collections Sarah Hall mined the collection for our most fascinating still lifes to complement this artwork, which connects contemporary art and art history in a unique way you will want to see for yourself. 
   

The installation features: 
Left: Jan Van Os (Dutch, 1744–1808). Still Life with Fruit, 1769. Oil on canvas. 
Center, top left: Vik Muniz (American, b. Brazil, 1961). Tea for Two, 2000. Gelatin silver print. 
Center, lower left: William Henry Hunt (English 1790–1864). Bird’s Nest, c. 1850–64. Watercolor and gouache on paper. 
Center, top right: William Michael Harnett (American, b. Ireland 1848–1892). Still Life, 1890. Oil on panel. 
Center, lower right: Rob and Nick Carter (English b. 1968, English b. 1969) Transforming Five Tulips in a Wan-Li Vase, 2017. 32-minute looped film, framed iPad. 
Right: George W. Waters (American, 1832-1912). Still Life with Peaches, 1891. Oil on canvas. 


Vik Muniz (American, b. Brazil, 1961). 
Tea for Two, 2000. 
Gelatin silver print. 
(detail)

William Henry Hunt (English 1790–1864). 
Bird’s Nest, c. 1850–64. 
(detail)

Because our collections can be strongly tied to particular buildings and spaces (especially Clayton), it is exciting when our curators find an opportunity to create new contexts for artworks that allow our visitors (and us) to view them in a new light and from a new perspective—literally and figuratively—allowing us to make new connections within the collection. In this display, it has been fun to mix up contemporary works with paintings that date to the 1760s and 1890s, in a variety of mediums, all from the still life tradition, which was once considered the lowest of art forms by the elite art world, but has always been popular with collectors and artists. 


A 2017 Frick aquisition, Hendrik Kerstens' Cream, 2015 (reflected at right), keeps a watchful eye on the still lifes in the Jacobean Room.
Hendrik Kerstens (Dutch, b. 1956).
Cream, 2015.
Archival pigment print, 50 x 40 in.

This installation will be on view at The Frick Art Museum through the end of September. After that, two works, Still Life by William Michael Harnett and Still Life with Fruit by Jan Van Os, will head out on loan to the exhibition A Delight for the Senses: The Still Life at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where we can see them in a new light, again.


William Michael Harnett (American, b. Ireland 1848–1892). 
Still Life, 1890.
Oil on panel. 
(detail)




Jan Van Os (Dutch, 1744–1808). 
Still Life with Fruit, 1769.
Oil on canvas. 
(details)

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