"Reflecting Nature: Still Life Paintings from California Collections" - an exhibition of 40 paintings - is on view now through March 11 at the Hartnell College art gallery.
The gallery, located in the Visual Arts Building, is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Monday through Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free.
The exhibition is the third in an on-going series that explore themes central to Western art. As in previous exhibitions that looked at portraits and seascapes, this group of paintings follows the re-emergence of still life painting in 17th, 18th, and 19th century Europe.
The exhibition then turns to artists of America, at first heavily influenced by European styles and ideas, as they developed strong individual movements during the 20th century. The most recent examples are by noted Monterey artists David Ligare and Susan Manchester, who present 21st century ideas combining modern and historical viewpoints.
Gary Smith, gallery director and Hartnell art instructor, said the exhibition utilizes the fine resources of private collections, particularly from Monterey County. "The passion and scholarly commitment of these collectors," Smith says, "has made it possible to find representative examples of major European and American art movements."
Covering five centuries, the show also highlights the work of many female artists. During the 19th century especially, still life was considered one of the few appropriate subjects for female artists. Notable examples are by Marie E. Hoesch (1862-1939) and Minerva Chapman (1858-1947). "These are small-scaled works, but each is filled with intensity and glows of carefully observed light and form," according to Smith.
For further information, call the gallery at (831) 755-6791.