Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Sydney Licht

Sydney Licht draws inspiration from the common, disposable detritus of everyday life and creates still lives centered around takeout containers, department store boxes, sugar packets and other disposables.  Licht tells the domestic experience of society’s materialism via modern takes on the still life.

“For centuries, still life paintings have portrayed items from the realm of the domestic….food, utensils, dishes, flowers and other elements that celebrate the table and the communal dining experience,” Licht says. “Today, as technology impacts our lives more and more, few of us have the means or the desire to spend hours preparing and presenting a meal served on china dishes with silver place settings.  Instead, we order online and our food arrives ready to be microwaved.  During the Covid era, communal dining experiences were more likely to occur on a computer via Zoom than in person sitting around a table together.  All of this begs the question, has the shelf life of the still life as we’ve known it reached its expiration date?”

Sydney Licht has exhibited widely throughout the United States. Her work has been featured in the New Yorker and Elle Décor, among other publications. She has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome twice, and the recipient of the Yaddo Residency. Licht has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and lives and works in New York City.
Sydney Licht, Still Life with Packing Tape, 2022 oil on panel 10 x 10 in.
Sydney Licht, Still Life with Fat Quarters and Brown Vase, 2022 oil on panel 10 x 10 in.
Sydney Licht, Still Life with Bag & Ledger, 2022 oil on linen 13 x 16 in.
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  1. […] Sydney Licht spoke to us recently about her current show, At the Edge of Things, running through October 22 at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts. The works in the show are narrative, still life, figurative without figures in them. Licht has been painting objects from her daily world for some time, seeking to distill them down to the essential yet precise. In this way, she wishes to explore the edge of abstraction and figuration. It is from this that she draws the title of the show. To hear more about this exhibition, her work and more, listen to the complete interview. […]


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