Catalogue to gallery exhibition of the same name, March 22–April 28, 2023.
Hirschl & Adler Modern is proud to present this exhibition of Amy Weiskopf’s most recent paintings, her third solo show with the gallery. Across these works, the artist’s fusion of traditional representation and modernist strategies highlights her command of the still life as both form and content. Keenly observed and deftly painted, each object in Weiskopf’s work is essential and the relationships between the objects are complex – full of tension, ambiguity and intimacy. The flattened backgrounds, made of shadowy blocks of color, provide just enough space for drama to play out. Earnest and unassuming, Amy Weiskopf’s still life paintings radiate with a power that belies their scale.
Weiskopf elegantly renders her subjects in soft tones, imbuing a kind of tenderness to these fruits, vegetables, plants, and assorted objects. The manner in which the folds of the cabbage leaves in Still Life with Green Cabbage embrace each other feels not just protective, but also supportive. The pair of plants in Two Succulents are so densely entwined that it is a struggle to isolate where one plant starts and another begins. However, not all relationships are as loving. The single oblong zucchini in Zucchini and Lemons is purposely excluded from the ring of lemons and round-shaped zucchini. And while the fleshy pink of the seashell’s interior in Shell and Pitcher feels acutely feminine, the cold, metallic exterior of its partner puts off any hint of romance. Weiskopf’s commitment to closely cropping the picture heightens the focus on her subjects, but there are glimpses of the surrounding space. Arrangements of flat color, dynamic table angles, risers for the objects; these compositional choices show the artist leaning into a modernist formalism. Coupled with the stricter realism granted to the objects, these quasi-abstract settings add a push-pull tension that would make Hans Hofmann proud.
Subtly and effectively, every element of Weiskopf’s paintings works together to provide a contemporary take on a very traditional genre. The deceptively simple arrangements hide her prodigious skills as a draftsperson and a colorist in plain sight, while deeper emotional content simmers beneath the surface. These recent paintings show Amy Weiskopf at her finest.