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"Still Life Paintings from the Collection"
2000-12-16 until 2001-02-18
Everson Musuem of Art
Syracuse, NY, USA

Among the earliest paintings to come into the permanent collection of the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts (now Everson Museum of Art) was Jonas Lie’s sensuous still life entitled The Black Teapot. The canvas was painted in 1911 and was acquired by the museum in 1913 soon after the work had hung at the now famous Armory Show. Held in New York City earlier that same year, the Armory Show constituted America’s first large-scale exposure to the work of the European avant-garde. Lie’s painting was exhibited there with notable compositions by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Marcel Duchamp, and more than 300 other artists, many of whom we now associate with early Modernism.

Lie’s painting did not engender the same puzzlement or derision as did some of the works shown at the Armory by his more experimental colleagues (Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase was famously described as “an explosion in a shingle factory”). Lie’s composition features a brilliant array of autumn flowers arranged in a white bowl that is counter balanced by the loosely painted eponymous teapot. His inspiration was the Impressionism of artists such as Claude Monet. Like Monet, Lie was most concerned with depicting the effects of light on objects, and rendering those effects with a dazzling blaze of color. The Black Teapot will be featured in a small exhibition of still life paintings from the Everson’s permanent collection. The show will range from an elaborate mid-nineteenth century composition of fruit and compotes by Severin Roesen to a trompe-l’oeil depiction of game by Richard La Barre Goodwin, and from Arthur B. Carles early-twentieth-century expressionistic Table Arrangement to Milton Avery’s more lyrical treatment of tabletop objects dating from 1949.


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