Image Copyright Restricted

Still Life

2001


Dimensions

Duration: 3 minutes, 44 seconds Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Accession Number

2008.645

Medium or Technique

35mm film / DVD; color, silent.

On View

Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Visitor Center (130.10)

Collections

Contemporary Art

Classifications

Film and video

3 minutes, 44 seconds


In this piece Taylor-Johnson (formerly Taylor-Wood) references vanitas, a type of still-life prominent in 16th- and 17th-century Northern European painting. Artists working in this style paired symbols of death and decay with fruits and flowers, a haunting reminder of the fleeting nature of life on earth and the decadence of worldly pleasures. In Taylor-Johnson’s time-based work, a tray of beautiful fruit decomposes until nothing is left but a formless grey mass. The cheap plastic pen on the table, however, remains unchanged, quietly raising the environmental question of what will be left behind after we are gone.

Provenance

2008, sold by Jay Jopling/White Cube, London, to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 17, 2008)

Credit Line

Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser Fund

Copyright

Reproduced with permission.