Fig, 1.- Juan Sánchez Cotán (1561-1627), Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber, Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego.
Through the time passing, there are more elements showing in the subject of still life. Objects are showing as a social reflective or even more the social world. The idea is highlighted by Bryson Norman, who suggest that In Baugin’s still life painting (Fig.2) it return “to a subject now constructed not as simply creatural, but as familiar with the whole experience of wealth and rank that belongs to the lived reality of the social world” (Bryson, 1989, pg247). Perhaps, we can see more information from Chardin’s artworks, who was an 18th century French painter and considered a master of still life. In Chardin’s work(Fig.3), “the objects are arranged informally, and not for display. They can be crammed together or moved as required (Bryson, 1989, pg251)”. His paintings have more space and air.
The sense of social world and connection to human that etching in still life paintings can be seen more in contemporary artists. Giorgio Morandi (Fig.4), an Italian painter who specialized in still life. “Although he painted generic household objects, critics noted how his representation of these objects conveyed a sense of Morandi's personality, monastic habits, and Bolognese environment (The art story, accessed 3 Jan 2019)”.
We can also find the different ways that artists try to depict the still life objects in their artworks. For instance, Alex Hanna, who painted a series of pillows, which looks like being used by human and got different textures. In Sweet Dreams(Fig.5), the pillow not just put in the middle of the painting but also standing like it have a soul.
If the society are inseparable with things as we see through the histories of still life paintings, then we must to find the deeper connection between objects and human. The consideration of objects as a resonance of memories could be seen in Michael Landy’s “Break down”, a performance art in 2001. He compiled his belongings, which are totally 7227 items that he had over 37 years. He then destroyed all of them in an old C&A shop on Oxford Street. Lingwood, who commissioned Break Down and as a co-director of Artangel, believes that Break Down wasn’t “simply a formal attack on consumerism, but something a bit more complex – about the relationship between who we are and what we possess” (Sooke,2016, accessed). As a result, this exhibition leads to a more existential question, which was: who am I? With no doubt,” all of us, to differing degrees, use possessions to construct our identities and project ourselves to others (Sooke,2016, accessed 2 Jan 2019)”. As I looked to the documentary of this work, my feelings was so complicated and I started to look around those objects around me, especially for those I have possessed for more than 10 years. Lingwood said that “it’s not very difficult, for many people, to witness the destruction of household objects such as crockery. But to see the destruction of personal mementoes, letters, photographs, works of art – that is deeply disturbing” (Sooke,2016, accessed 2 Jan 2019).
Mamma Andersson, who is a well-known artist by having a unique and timeless quality through her juxtapositions of thick paint and textured washes. In Stays(Fig.8), I saw the objects with relation to women position in period.
In conclusion, Objects are even more connected to our life then we thought. By reading the book, “Evocative Objects (Turkle, S, 2011)”, I found that every single human has some stuff which are indispensable for them. “In this collection of autobiographical essays, Scientists, humanists, artists, and designers trace the power of objects in their lives, objects that connect them to ideas and to people (Turkle, S, 2011, pg5)”. There are several chapter in this book, I find my interests in looking at the “Objects with discipline and desire” and the “Objects of history and exchange”. With the understanding of emotional connections to objects, I want to depict it within my paintings. In consideration of these ideas, my work will seek to create stunning imagery of objects that resonant with past experiences and memories.