Sydney Licht “At The Edge of Things”

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

poster for Sydney Licht “At The Edge of Things”

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Kathryn Markel Fine Arts presents a solo exhibition of new paintings by Sydney Licht. This marks Licht’s sixth solo show with the gallery. 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.

“At the Edge of Things” presents a fresh point of view on the conventions typically associated with 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?” she continues.

Her work is also concentrated on formal, explorative aspects of painting and an interest in the materiality of paint itself. Tabletops and other interior surfaces are minimized to a sliver of color or block of pattern across the bottom of the paintings - boxes and packages are then arranged onto these planes of color. “Color in its quantity and specificity can affect how we perceive articles as either developed forms or simple shapes. In addition to space, multiple objects can exist at the edge of things such that their silhouettes might collide or meet up in unexpected ways, sometimes flattening space or other times just claiming attention. By translating what I see around me into works that articulate this dynamic aspect of our visual culture, my goal is to push the boundaries of what a still life can be,” Licht says. During a time of such visual abundance, At the Edge of Things grants viewers a respite to focus on these humble details.

Licht’s work is included in several public collections, spanning from New York to Boston and Cincinnati. She has been a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome twice, and completed the Yaddo Residency in Saratoga Springs, NY. Since her first solo show in 1986, Licht has exhibited across the country and worldwide in group and solo exhibitions.



from September 15, 2022 to October 22, 2022


Sydney Licht

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