Dena Kahan: Lure - Art Collector

Dena Kahan, ‘Still life with Dianthus and White Willow’, 2018. oil on linen, 103 x 77cm. Courtesy: the artist and Gallerysmith, Melbourne. Photo: Ian Hill Photography.

Using museum collections as subject matter for still life painting, Dena Kahan plays with ambiguities of scale, space and reflection to undermine the clear containment of the museum case. In doing so, she transforms museum objects into a kind of substitute romantic landscape, hinting at the awe of the natural world.

In her exhibition, ‘Lure’, insects infiltrate the sterile environment of the museum store or display case, drawn to these artificial replicas of the plant world. This imagery references the tradition of 17th century Dutch still life, in which plants and insects take on symbolic meanings and flowers of different seasons bloom together. It also alludes to our often-negative intervention in the natural world, as well as to the ability of nature to evade our control.

Exhibition Opens: 4–6pm Saturday 8 September 2018
Exhibition closes: 6 October 2018
Location: Gallerysmith, 170-174 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne VIC
Phone: +61 3 9329 1860


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