Beauty In Everyday Objects
The Greeks saw the divine in themselves and depicted the gods in human form, and for thousands of years it was deemed that art should only celebrate the extraordinary. Eventually artists found grace and beauty in the common people in society, and Modern Art found worthwhile subjects in the mundane and ubiquitous. Think of Pop Art’s fascination with media and advertising.
Claudia Hammer has a considerable reputation for painting portraits, and the human figure, but more recently she has turned her attention to static objects.
“Drawing or painting the figure has always been a pleasurable challenge,” says Hammer. “However, in the last few years I have really have been loving the still life. I seek the beauty in everyday objects like coffee cups, scissors, marbles, crossword puzzles, bottles, and appliances. In focusing on these items I hope to show gratitude for the overlooked but useful things that engage us in life.”
There is a thick layer of nostalgia over the objects Hammer chooses to paint. How many of the current population has ever seen an old-style, black rotary telephone? We have fancier electric mixers in today’s kitchens, but the sleek, mid-20th century design of the one we see here is classic. It might give us a warm feeling to remember our grandmother’s kitchen or grandpa’s workbench, but could it be possible that the utilitarian tools of their day were actually this beautiful? Hammer renders the objects with a sufficient degree of realism to impress us with her technique, but there is also an atmosphere, crafted from evocative background textures and a sophisticated sense of light, that places these things in the realm of misty memory.
Hammer will be showing at PYRO Gallery, where she is a member, with Mary Dennis Kannapell. The exhibit, called Modern Muse is scheduled for April 12 - May 26, 2018.
Claudia Hammer will be participating in the 2017 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in the NuLu neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 4 and 5. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.
Hometown: New Albany Indiana
Instagram: Claudia Hammer
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.