Jeanette May and Kimberly Witham: Vanitas at Klompching Gallery
I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to still life imagery–perhaps it’s gaining some order or control over articles that surround our lives or simply finding the connections between objects when then are grouped together. Still lifes become a language of sorts, a visual aphorism, and though the methodology nods to the golden age of Dutch Masters, contemporary still life tableaux speak to our particular time in history when off-kilter groupings feels more like the norm. Klompching Gallery, in Dumbo, Brooklyn, has just opened a terrific exhibition, Vanitas: Jeanette May & Kimberly Witham, running through June 30, 2017.
Both artists are inspired by the Dutch Vanitas but they each have their own unique vision. Kimberly Witham “presents lush photographs, incorporating roadkill with flora from her garden, creating meditative studies of fragility, beauty, ripeness and decay. The Of Ripeness and Rot and Other Works, are a celebration of beauty and a reminder of death. The modest scale of the photographs maintain the intimate and personal element of the narrative, while also projecting a universal story based on well understood symbols”.
The Tech Vanitas series, by Jeanette May, “embraces luxury, honors design, and acknowledges the fleeting nature of earthly pleasures. These contemporary vanitas utilize digital photography to capture precarious arrangements of domestic technological ephemera: a coffee percolator and film camera teeter atop a shiny boombox that spews magnetic tape across the keys of an Underwood typewriter. May’s images of anachronistic technologies confront still life’s traditional tension, between temptation and rejection of worldly goods”.
Kimberly Witham (b. 1970) was awarded a BA from Duke University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts. Her artworks have been exhibited widely since 2001, and placed into numerous private collections in the US.
Awards and accolades include the Antonio Cirino Artist Fellowship, named a Finalist for Photolucida’s Critical Mass and was selected for the Fresh 2015 Summer Exhibit at Klompching Gallery. Witham lives and works in New Jersey.
Jeanette May (b. 1963) holds an MFA in Photography from CalArts and a BFA in Painting from the University of Illinois. The artist has received a number of awards and grants, including from the NEA and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts among others. May lives and works in Brooklyn.
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