There is nothing still about Morgan Everhart’s still-lifes. Whether grand or intimate in scale, vibrantly colored or intriguingly subdued, Morgan’s flowers take me on a spiraling journey through my own emotions, from which I consistently emerge feeling blissful yet disquieted. I really like that tension. I also like that her work conjures in my mind flashes of minutely rendered floral borders by Jean Bourdichon and lush bouquets by great Dutch artists such as Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder and Rachel Ruysch. In the hands of these Old Master painters, flowers were treated as repositories for myriad meanings, their fleeting beauty a magnet for religious and moralizing connotations. Morgan taps into that tradition, often investing her arrangements with spiritual significance, and using her blooms as a means of trying to make sense of life’s arbitrariness. In one form or another, flowers have a place in all the major rites that punctuate our existence; by so poignantly envisioning them, Morgan reminds us to contemplate time and what we chose to do with it.
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