Orange County Museum of Art

Newport Beach, CA



Orange County Museum of Art Presents "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915-1995, Selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art"


Don't miss this incredible exhibition of some of the finest examples of twentieth-century still life from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915-1995" opens at the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) in Newport Beach on June 21, 1997 and will remain on view through August 17, 1997.


Randy Dudley, Verifying Dissonant Statistics, 1981


Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The American Federation of Arts, the exhibition showcases sixty-six works by fifty-nine artists. The exhibition defines and explores the dominant trends in still-life painting in this century. The ongoing vitality and diversity of the still-life tradition is represented through works that encompass a multiplicity of subjects and variety of painting styles.


Samuel Halbert, The Red Tablecloth, 1915


The work of fifty-nine internationally celebrated American artists, including Jennifer Bartlett, Jim Dine, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Andy Warhol, spans this century's development and deconstruction of, and departure from, the American still life. Numerous influences in the early twentieth century brought about a radical break with earlier still-life painting. Artists began to explore the newfound freedom of the surface, brought about by Modernist art movements such as Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. They began painting conventional objects such as fruit and flowers in wholly new forms, or removed from the depiction of still-life subjects such as seasonal produce, crockery, and books, turning instead to packaged consumer products, labels, and machines from modern, everyday life.

"This exhibition brings a group of significant American paintings to Orange County, and provides all of us with an opportunity to experience their power firsthand. Art history comes to life in the presence of such masters as Georgia O'Keeffe, Max Weber, and Stuart Davis, " says Naomi Vine, director of OCMA.

Lowery Stokes Sims and Sabine Rewald, respectively curator and associate curator of twentieth-century art at The Metropolitan Museum, have selected works that provide a comprehensive view of the various schools and styles of American art of this century. Ranging from Cubist exercises to gestural interpretations and from Expressionism to Photorealism, the exhibition is organized chronologically within the following thematic divisions: flower painting; table still life; interior and genre scenes; the iconic object; harvests, hunts, and bountiful settings; and still life and the landscape.


George Grosz, Still Life with Walnuts, 1937


This exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The American Federation of Arts (AFA). It is made possible by a generous grant from Metropolitan Life Foundation with additional support from the National Patrons of the AFA. Local presentation is made possible in part by The Exhibitionists Council, the Friends of the Exhibition, Ted and Carole Slavin, and Mellon Private Asset Management.


Celebrating 100 years of California Art


Our permanent collection galleries feature over 150 pieces that trace the development and achievements in twentieth-century visual arts through OCMA's significant 6,500 piece collection. These galleries showcase outstanding works of art that trace the aesthetic achievements of twentieth-century California art. OCMA's collection chronicles California's unique art history and provides a dynamic context in which to view the Museum's changing exhibitions. From idyllic Impressionist paintings to the most challenging contemporary installations, OCMA's collection documents and preserves California's remarkable heritage, and is a treasured resource to share with a wider public. Several galleries are dedicated to photography and prints from the permanent collection and change throughout the year.


Elmer Bishoff, Two Figures at Seashore, 1957


Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1997 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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