This December Gilman Contemporary will exhibit “Seizing Beauty” featuring photographer Paulette Tavormina’s carefully crafted tableaus informed and inspired by 17th century painting. Often using a rich, dark backdrop and subtle lighting, Tavormina captures the depth and nuance of these paintings in her photographs. Drawing on her personal experience as well as an understanding of art history, the artist’s hand is present throughout the compositions.
Sourcing from farmer’s markets around New York City, Tavormina must shoot within the constraints of the seasons. Her images hold an understanding of time – the flowers, food, and creatures have a finite expiration. Originally taking inspiration from the work of 17th century masters of still life, such as Giovanna Garzoni Francisco de Zurbarán, Adriaen Coorte and Maria Sibylla Merian, Tavormina has created work that continues upon the tradition of the still-life as an artform. Each of her photographs is carefully crafted and is the result of careful consideration of light and placement. The directness of Paulette’s work exposes the connection between humans, nature, and time.
Tavormina was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 2016. Her monograph book, Paulette Tavormina: Seizing Beauty was published by The Monacelli Press, 2016 and reviewed by The New York Times and Architectural Digest.
Tavormina’s photographs have been exhibited in Paris, London, Moscow, Lugano, New York, Palm Beach, Boston, and San Francisco among others. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Art in Embassies, U.S. Department of State, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan and Alimentarium, Musee de l’Alimentation, Vervey, Switzerland. Tavormina also works as a commercial photographer – she has photographed works of art for Sotheby’s, collaborated with The Fabulous Beekman Boys on their three heirloom cookbooks and photographed The Del Posto Cookbook with chef Mark Ladner, published by Hachette.
Also on view in December will be a group exhibition that demonstrates the range and scope of mediums of Gilman Contemporary’s artists.