Four Artists, Four Objects, Ten Years

February 13 – May 21, 2000


This exhibition, curated by Judith Swirsky of New York, features works by Janet Fish, Sondra Freckelton, Nancy Hagin and Harriet Shorr. In 1986, Fish, Freckelton, Hagin and Shorr initiated a project in which each artist chose an object–a pair of candlesticks, a plate, a pitcher, and a vase in the shape of a fish. (right: Harriet Shorr, After the Fall, 1996, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches)

February_TNThese objects were exchanged among the artists and each executed a painting. The project became an experiment in perspective and approach to still life painting. The resulting works, ail containing the same four objects, demonstrate each artist’s approach to capturing the world as she sees it. (left: Janet Fish, February, 1996, oil on canvas, 50 x 70 inches)

The successful experiment was followed up ten years later in 1996 with another series of paintings devoted to four new objects. This exhibition is the story of those eight paintings, the artists who created them and the vision which is reflected in them.
“This exhibition shows not only the artistic development of four prominent still-life painters, but also demonstrates the stylistic variety and scope of the genre,” said Swirsky. “For these long-time friends the sense of play in the artistic game which they devised ten years ago and now repeat is as exciting as the unique associations and forms suggested to them by the same objects. Here we ‘discover’ the results along with them.” (right: Nancy Hagin, Chocolate Box, 1996, watercolor, 40 x 51 inches)

Janet Fish holds degrees from Smith College and the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. She also studied at Skowhegan School of Art. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and is part of the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and numerous university and corporate collections. In 1995, Fish was awarded the “Adolf and Clara Obrig Prize” by the National Academy of Design and in 1992 was named “Outstanding Woman Artist” by the Aspen Art Museum.

Sondra Freckelton studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. Her work is part of the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and numerous other collections. In 1991 Freckelton was awarded the “A. Thelma McAndless Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair in the Humanities” by Eastern Michigan University. In 1992 she was named an associate of the National Academy of Design and won the art masters award in watercolor in 1995 from American Artist magazine.

Nancy Hagin holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Yale University. Her work is featured in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design, the Delaware Art Museum and other public and private collections. Hagin was artist in residence at Palisades Interstate Park in 1975. She became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1992.

Harriet Shorr holds degrees from Swarthmore College and the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. Her work is part of the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Brooklyn Museum, the Utah Museum of Fine Art and other collections. In 1994 Shorr became a member of the National Academy of Design. She was also awarded the “American Artist Achievement Award” in 1994.

This exhibition features 20 paintings — the eight paintings from the 10-year project plus an additional three paintings by each artist.

Art critic John Arthur contributed an essay to the exhibition catalog.