Paulette Tavormina: Natura Morta

Paulette Tavormina: Natura Morta

figs and morning glories, after g.g. by paulette tavormina

Paulette Tavormina

Figs and Morning Glories, after G.G., 2010

Price on Request

oysters and lemon, after w.c.h. by paulette tavormina

Paulette Tavormina

Oysters and Lemon, after W.C.H., 2008

Price on Request

red cherries and plums, after .gg. by paulette tavormina

Paulette Tavormina

Red Cherries and Plums, after .GG., 2011

Price on Request

Thursday, January 17, 2013Saturday, March 9, 2013


New York, NY USA

Opening reception: Thursday, January 17, 6-8pm

Robert Mann Gallery is pleased to present Natura Morta, Paulette Tavormina’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Natura Morta will bring together a selection of exquisite still life photographs that recall the traditions of 17th century Old Master painting. Luscious fruit and flowers among other things are rendered in a painterly perspective reminiscent of Francisco de Zurbaran, Adriaen Coorte and Giovanna Garzoni, whom Tavormina counts among her greatest influences.

An avid collector of butterflies and insects, shells, dried flowers, and ceramics, the sourcing of props is a crucial part of her process. Each object is closely tied to the place it was discovered - fresh produce from a New York City farmer’s market, horseshoe crabs tossed ashore in Nantucket, ladybugs found at a taxidermy shop in Paris. Not only do these objects look to the art historical roots of the genre of the still life, but their meaning is often multi-layered, a fig perhaps referring to the artist’s own Sicilian heritage.

Within the long tradition of la natura morta in photography, which calls to mind the compositions of Irving Penn or the anthropomorphic quality of Edward Weston’s still lifes, what sets Tavormina’s work apart is her reverence for the objects themselves. These pictures are as much about the life cycles of the objects and the memories they evoke for the artist as they are about the lighting and composition, which make them feel intensely personal. They are her poetic way of expressing respect for the human condition.

Largely self-taught, Tavormina has been exhibited internationally and was the winner of the Grand Prix at the 2010 International Culinaire Photography Festival in Paris. She has worked on set as a food stylist in Hollywood and also photographs works of art for Sotheby’s. Her work has been featured in several publications including the New York Times, Boston Globe, L’Express, Martha Stewart magazine and Photo Technique magazine. She lives and works in New York City.