There is beauty in what is blooming, beauty in what withers and satisfaction in assembling a world of flowers and objects into a specific aesthetic expression. Anyone who has ever picked flowers and arranged them, and then photographed or painted them, anyone who has put a collection of pleasing objects into a personal exhibit or admires the work of Joseph Cornell or the antique cabinets that curiosities collectors used to keep, can understand the indescribable satisfaction in creating little worlds under your control.
This is what photographer Kimberly Witham’s art embodies, always inspired by the 17th century Dutch masters’ still-lifes since she began about 25 years ago. An art historian in college, she discovered that she would rather be creating art than writing about it, “so I went to grad school for photography.” But, she said, “You can never quite get the art history out of your head. And I’m half Dutch. My mother was born in Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum is like church to me.”
Twenty of her new floral still-lifes are in her fifth solo exhibition at Gary Marotta’s gallery. “I love working with Gary. And my favorite place to show is Provincetown. I always meet such interesting people; they have such great questions.” (She is also represented by galleries in Brooklyn and Boston.) In New York she said, people are “tough, and tense” at openings.
Her flower photos — sometimes massed, sometimes individual — include smaller salon pieces in vintage frames, from about 5” x 5” to 17” x12,” and some larger pieces, 24” x 36.” She creates the digital prints and seals with triple varnish and no glass. The works are delightfully accompanied by a large flower arrangement from New Provincetown Florist, with some of Gary’s own roses.