The good of this world Might help see me through This place needs me here to start This place is the beat of my heart -R.E.M., “Oh My Heart”
Beth Edwards is known for contemporary still-life painting with sensuous, metaphorical realism. Referencing historical vanitas paintings, she re-invents the genre through a saturated palette, magnified cropping, and the confrontational scale of her subjects.
A painter of the utmost precision, in this show Edwards focuses on hydrangeas, clovers and morning glories with their stems and leaves creating shadows in a closely cropped composition. Such enlarged petals, leaves and stems elevate the flowers to objects rather than subjects of a still life painting.
“Each piece is a record of a steady, meditative painting process – hopefully imbuing these innocuous subjects with what the art historian, Norman Bryson termed a ‘meticulous particularity.’ I am interested in how something so slight can have an impact. The paintings are meant to be both life affirming and elegiac.”
Edwards was born in Alabama and lives and works in Memphis. She received a BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA from Indiana University. The daughter of a painter and arts educator, Edwards has had an active 30-year career painting, exhibiting and teaching. She has taught painting at the University of Memphis since 2000 and is the recipient of many awards, grants, commissions, and residencies. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions in galleries, museums, institutions and organizations across the United States.