COLEGEVILLE, PA.- The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College Is There Still Life? Connie Simon, Debrah Jospe & Enid Mark through April 1, 2007. This intimate and introspective exhibition brings together works on paper by artists Constance Simon and Debrah Jospe with printed works in two and three dimensions by Philadelphia book artist Enid Mark. All three artists works reflect upon and respond to the art historical tradition of rendering the everyday in exquisite detail to the tradition of still life. This genre of work, which has its origins in ancient Greece and reached its height in the work of 17th- through 19th-century European artists, explores the relationships between human beings and their natural or constructed environments through the artifacts of those relationships in this case, from the pencils used to create Simons and Jospes works themselves to the shells found on a beloved beach to the everyday household implements that embody the lived experience in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Simon and Jospe work in graphite and watercolor on paper, materials that emphasize the familiar, domesticated qualities of their small-scale renderings. Marks most recent work her re-visioning of the centuries-old botanical book tradition is larger in scale, but attends likewise to the intimate experiences of everyday life in bringing favorite flowers to her viewers senses in a multitude of ways. She draws out the textures, subtle colorations, line, and gesture of her botanical subjects by inflecting ravishing, sensuous handmade papers with the finely drawn lines and the tonal richness of lithography. Several of Marks earlier books will also be featured, introducing the elements of jewel-like colors into the otherwise pale palette of the show, and revealing the artists passion for the interplay of text and image, the collaboration of visual artist with poet.