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Paul Signac, French, 1863 - 1935. Zinnias and Marigolds, ca. 1911 – 1915. Watercolor on paper. 13 x 15 1/4 in. (33 x 38.7 cm). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Ryerson 1939.2

Still Modern

April 20, 2019 - July 14, 2019

Graphics Gallery

Artists of the 20th and 21st centuries have embraced the genre of still life, manipulating its traditional significance for their own creative purposes. Of contemporary still lifes, artist Roy Lichtenstein said, “It’s not meant to have the usual still life meaning.” 

Still lifes are often characterized by commonplace, inanimate objects like fruit and bowls. These compositions initially appear simple and uninspiring in their ordinary domesticity. However, hidden in the objects are complex systems of symbolism and semantic codes. A flower, for instance, could represent the ephemeral nature of beauty or the shortness of life. Closing soon, Still Modern displays the enduring relevance of the still life genre in present day.

From the Exhibition

  • Jane E. Goldman, American, born 1951. Aububon: Passenger Pigeon, 2005. Screenprint on paper. 22 × 30 inches. Museum purchase, 2009.85

  • Nefertiti Goodman, American, born 1949. Les Oiseaux au Jardin d’Or II (The Birds in the Golden Garden II), 2004/2016. Linocut with hand-painted watercolor and gouche. 44 × 36 inches. Museum purchase with funds raised from the Flint Print Club, 2015.62

  • Keith Morrison, American, born 1942. Crossing, 1997. Watercolor on paper. 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x 76.2 cm). Gift of Claudia DeMonte 2008.362