Penelope Harris, Still Life

Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Gift of Bill Scott in honor of Marguerite Lenfest, 2018
36 x 34 in.

Harris creates a circle-like composition with elegant plates of donuts, croissants, and cherries together with their paper wrappings, a cloth napkin, a lace doily, and a graceful pitcher. Various shades of white stand out against a black background and gray table. 

The artist distorts space in a dramatic manner: the table tilts upward—its rear edge wider than it should be, were it to sit correctly in the imagined space of the painting and conform to the rules of linear perspective. However, as if by a mysterious force, the objects maintain their placement, holding themselves in a suspended state, perhaps by a mutual, shared attraction. Some objects overlap, or seem to reach out, almost touching. Only the cherries, having spilled from their bowl, could roll off the table. 

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