Register Saturday | July 2 | 2022

Still Life

Karma in New York reopens its gallery with

(Nothing But) Flowers, a collection of still lifes. 

Scrolling through the exhibit online, I’m 

desperate for outsize tulips, Nasturtium in a 

Green Glass, the offhand intimacy of lilacs in 

water. I settle for ordering the catalogue and

make do with whatever’s local.


To paint a flower: contained or set loose, 

interior or no interior, a flattening or a 

spectacle? The idea of improvisation as a kind of

conscientious reminder of how fragile everything is,

how unstable and unknowable.


When the catalogue arrives, I make a daily 

thing of flipping to a random page and 

observing what’s there: sill, table, mirror, 

bevelled glass, dotted red and pink pitcher,

marble figure, linen napkin folded and placed

under a mason jar, knife with a wood handle, 

beetroot, big potted palms, stones, shadows, 

dusk.


A petal drops from the real. A hand flings ...

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