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Artist's Reception: Paulette Tavormina at Robert Mann Gallery

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, January 3, 2014
Artist's reception:
Thursday, January 17

Exhibition Dates: January 17 - March 9, 2013


With the same level of quality, detail, and intension that the Old Master painters invested into their still-life canvases so too does their contemporary counterpart Paulette Tavormina toil over her images. A true collector of small things from dishes and glassware to dried flowers, insects, fabrics, shells and the like each image speaks to Tavormina of place and moment. These carefully collected fragments are drawn together and worked into "sets" where just the right combination of elements can take up to a week to arrange. Slowly, the images of Tavormina come together. With careful attention to every detail the resulting images achieve visual perfection- a roundness of light, a rich liquidity of shadow, and a rhythm to the compositions that keps our eyes dancing. The resulting frames are as ripe with visual satisfaction as historic referent, direct and general.

Some images speak to season- the Strawberries to spring, Red Cherries and Plums, after .GG. to summer, Pears with a subtle inclusion of a nut in the foreground to fall, and the Lemons and Pomegranates, after winter. The titles of some works are easy clues to their referents;

Tavormina did draw influence from artists like Francisco de Zurbaran, Adriaen Coorte and Giovanna Garzoni to name a few. Beyond the lush blooms and succulent frutes are little moments of tension- grapes or apples hanging from twine, citrus peels dangling, and most alarming, fish leaping from their bowls. Tavormina's visual abundance seduces and satiates- some of the displays are orhavebeen enjoyed.Fish Bone, after P.C is a prime example of the remains of a small even solitary feast. These images speak most deeply to the vanitas nature at the very core of the genrenature mort, dead life. Earlier works nod to this in the series title,Natura Morta. Tavormina's work adds to the visual history of the genre; beauty and purpose tangle in her lush frames.

For more information on the artist and her work, please visit Robert Mann Gallery

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