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Still Life Now

Spanning far beyond bowls of fruit, this GOMA exhibition explores the still-life tradition, its evolution and its reflections on existence.
By Sarah Ward
September 24, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
September 24, 2022
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Everyone has tried their hand at a still-life drawing or painting. It's an art-class mainstay, whether you only did the subject at school, you're a keen student of all things creative or you consider yourself an artist. But still-life pieces aren't just about bowls of fruit — or bouquets of flowers — as Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art is exploring until Sunday, February 19, 2023.

A free exhibition, Still Life Now contemplates the still-life tradition, its evolution and its reflections on existence. Given that it's a practise mostly focused on inanimate objects, the types of items pushed to the fore in still-life pieces say plenty about the times, society, the thinking of the period, and cultural and political issues. That's what you'll ponder while perusing this thoughtful showcase.

Still Life Now also throws some love towards memento mori and the vanitas still life, both of ruminate upon death, its inevitability and how fleeting life is in their own ways.

Art lovers can expect an array of paintings, sculptures and time-based media, too — and, to keep the train of thought going, there's also a free film program, Still Lives, showing on Sundays during the exhibition.

Images: Installation views of 'Still Life Now', Gallery of Modern Art, 2022, including works by Marc Quinn, Damien Hirst, Kozo Miyoshi, Shirana Shahbazi, Justine Cooper and Deborah Kelly / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © The artists / Photograph: Chloë Callistemon © QAGOMA.

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