Exhibition Details

Location: Tooker
Dates: December 21, 2019
to November 27, 2022
Still Life: Ordinary Pleasures

Poet Mark Doty observed that "in a still life, there is no end to our looking, we look in and in…. as long as we can stand to look, as long as we take pleasure in looking." One of the most fundamental of artistic genres, the still life remains a staple of beginning art classes. When Elaine Fried arrived at Willem De Kooning's studio in 1938 for her first private lesson, he set up a grouping of ordinary objects including a coffee pot, a large shell, a yellow cup, a blue cotton shirt, and an army blanket. She painted these compositions for months and found the experience to be transformative. "I really felt as though I could spend my entire life painting still lifes and express everything I wanted to express through them," declared Fried. For artists, still life "models" are both handy and free ways to explore spatial relationships. For viewers, the intimate scale of a tableau of inanimate objects reward the process of looking and observing.

Still Life: Ordinary Pleasures is organized by Phoenix Art Museum. It is made possible through the support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Naturaleza Muerta: Placeres Ordinarios

El poeta Mark Doty expresó que "en la naturaleza muerta, no hay un fin a nuestra observación, observamos adentro y más adentro… mientras podamos tolerar el observar, mientras que nos deleitemos en observar.” Uno de los géneros artísticos más fundamentales, la naturaleza muerta continúa siendo una base de las clases de arte para principiantes. Cuando Elaine Fried llegó al estudio de Willem De Kooning en 1938 para su primera clase privada, El organizó una serie de objetos ordinarios que incluían una cafetera, una concha grande, una taza amarilla, una camisa azul de algodón, y una cobija militar. Ella pintó estas composiciones por meses y descubrió que la experiencia fue transformadora. “Realmente me sentí como si pudiese pasarme toda la vida pintando naturaleza muerta y expresando todo lo que quería expresar a través de ellas,” declaró Fried. Para los artistas, “modelos” de naturaleza muerta son maneras prácticas y gratuitas de explorar las relaciones espaciales. Para los espectadores, la escala intima de un cuadro de objetos inanimados premia el proceso de ver y observar.

Image credit (detail): Elena Climent, Cocina con vista al viaducto (Kitchen with View of the Viaduct), 1995. Oil on canvas and panel. Museum purchase in honor of Clayton Kirking with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. L. Gene Lemon. 

Image credit (detail): Randall Davey, Flowers in a Vase, oil on board. Gift of Eugene B. Adkins.

Logo - The Henry Luce Foundation



Free for Members, veterans and active-duty Militaryand youth aged 5 and under.

General Admission:
$23 — Adults
$20 — Senior Citizens (Ages 65+)
$18 — Students (with ID) 

— Youth (Ages 6-17)

All exhibitions are included with General Admission.



Voluntary-Donation Hours

This exhibition is open to the public for $8 (adult) / $5 (youth) during voluntary-donation, pay-what-you-wish hours from 3–9 pm each Wednesday, from 6–10 pm on the first Friday of each month, and is free for youth ages 17 and under from 10 am5 pm on the last Saturday of each month during Creative Saturdays: Free Under 18

Group Sales

Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here.