Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present Packaged Goods, a solo exhibition featuring new paintings by Sydney Licht.
Art history contains myriad domestic still lifes full of food, utensils, flowers, and other elements that celebrate the table. Sydney Licht works within this traditional genre, choosing as subject matter the detritus of today’s packaged, sealed and sanitized food. She updates the conventions of still life by depicting the un-idealized remnants of our consumer culture and creates painterly architecture out of the ordinary.
Licht’s still lifes are concerned with formal, explorative aspects of painting such as color relationships and an interest in the materiality of paint itself. She employs rough, thoughtful strokes, applied with palette knives and brushes that extend the edges of the canvas. Tabletops and other interior surfaces are minimized to a sliver of color or block of pattern across the bottom of the canvas where boxes and packages are stacked and arranged into planes of color and form.
Sugar packets, take-out boxes and to go cups are loosely painted with a softness fashioned with thick marks, but are firmly planted with the weight and volume of their precise composition. Using a palette that is predominantly pastel, she impresses soft shadows that anchor her intimate piles to their resting places. The off-center placement of the objects turns the viewer’s attention to the negative space around them, leaving pause to consider the object’s existence.
Sydney Licht lives and works in New York and has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows around the country. She completed a Yaddo residency and was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. She was granted an Individual Artist Fellowship in Painting from the Ohio Arts Council, among others. She received a B.A. from Smith College and completed an M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.