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Lessons from Things

March 31, 2005 through April 23, 2005


Saturday, April 2nd 6:30 - 9:00 PM

The world is filled with millions of objects- things- that intersect with our lives and come to have meaning for us. Whether they are rare or commonplace, natural or man made, these objects comprise much of the material significance of our lives. We may be acutely or only dimly aware of them, but they are a part of us and the world as we experience it.

Some of these things we feel to be important enough to bring back into our homes and either use- as with books or pitchers- or display for their sheer beauty- as with sea shells and flowers.

Any object, when looked at carefully and lovingly, reveals a beauty and a history; how it was made, how it grew or developed, the multiple purposes to which it has been put. All of these are valuable lessons from things- these things are especially important to still life painters.

This exhibition is comprised of pictures of things- books, mirrors, lenses, sea shells, and flowers, especially. Each one speaks to us in a particular way. For instance, the reason I feel the desire to paint books is akin to the urgency the author felt who wrote them, or the publisher felt to consider them important enough to bring the ideas they contain into physical existence, or the reader felt who bought them, spent time reading them and then put them into his library. The sense of wonder felt by the person who finds a beautiful seashell on the beach, or who picks a miraculous flower from her garden and puts it in a vase on the table, is not far from the impulse of the painter who studies and transcribes it.

These things invite contemplation and stimulate our sense of joy and significance.

Ephraim Rubenstein


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