PREVIEW: Nature Morte, Guildhall Art Gallery

The Guildhall Art Gallery will present an exhibition exploring how leading artists of the 21st century have reinvigorated still life.
Untitled, Jim Skull, 2009. Photo: C. Lebedinsky. 

On display from the 7th September, Nature Morte will reveal how artists such as  Mat Collishaw, Michael Craig-Martin, Gabriel Orozco and Marc Quinn have helped to reinvigorate still life – a genre most associated with 16th and 17th century artists.

The exhibition arrives in London as the final stop on the European tour of the display and will be the only opportunity for visitors in the UK to see the exhibition.

As one of the largest displays to be held at the gallery, Nature Morte will display a wide variety of work which confronts visitors with questions such as what is real and what is representative?

Nature Morte will feature over 100 pieces of work from different disciplines – not only painting but also sculpture, digital, and sound. Highlights of the exhibition will include Still life + real life (2011)  by Nancy Fouts,  Last Meal on Death Row, Texas (Juan Soria) by Mat Collishaw and Cindy Wright’s paintings of food which challenge the viewer with the reality that eating meat and fish comes at a cost.

Talking about the news, Graham Packham, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee said: “Nature Morte at Guildhall Art Gallery will put a modern spin on still life which, for many people, conjures up images of food, wine glasses, flowers and dead animals in art work dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The artists featured in this new show, which will take over the gallery’s main exhibition spaces, will bring still life right up-to-date with sculpture, sound, and digital art.”

The exhibition is based on Michael Petry’s recent Thames & Hudson book of the same name, bringing together historic still life paintings and contemporary art works that seek to use the language of the past for modern audiences.

Nature Morte will be on display at the Guildhall Art Gallery from the 7th September until the 2nd April 2018. For more information visit:



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