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Still life with Modigliani
IntroductionGuy Diehl – Taking a stroll through the history of art
Guy Diehl’s carefully composed still-life images take the viewer on a fascinating journey through important stages in the history of art. His new paintings appear under the title “Book Series”. In addition to the traditional objects – vases and postcards containing images from works of different artists, with which he plays in each picture – books now feature prominently: Books about the artists, their influences, and the historical contexts in which they worked. Guy Diehl himself does not stay in modernity, instead wandering along with Caravaggio and Edward Hopper through different eras of the past and present, setting free the colours and styles of different centuries.
The dark-toned still lifes by American artist Guy Diehl are renowned, original works of the purest shade. A clear, fresh light rules like a glowing furnace over carefully arranged objects representing art history and time. In the pictures, the border between painting and photography dissolves perfectly. The application of color, drawing of details, and direction of light generate an overwhelming effect of photorealism; the final appearance is astonishing.
A three dimensional, deep space opens before a neutral background: everything strives to fit into the historically loaded and symbolically meaningful family photo album. A new, well-known modern artist reigns in each picture. Yves Klein or Amedeo Modigliani are represented, for example, in the form of their respective, very famous art books, a sought out motif, and intentionally placed objects such as bottles, glasses, or other color coordinations. By grasping the typical style of each artist and meaningfully combining it with classical forms of still lifes, Guy Diehl mixes tradition and modernity.
He invites you to a school of conscious viewing. Although invested to the maximum with an objective multiplicity of meanings, the works nevertheless prove to have captured the ideal of aesthetic reduction. Each piece of a painting appears clear and without embellishment: neither less realistic nor more artistic. Guy Diehl doesn’t need to paint the film of dust to give his pictures more depth or to trace living time. Utter creative permeation, in the form of transparency and opaqueness, effective highlights and secret shadows, takes the viewer on a hypnotic journey through a sought out chapter of art history and modernism. These pictures are truly sensual plays of historic, lively materiality before the background of a thoroughly modern, picturesque accuracy.
1949 Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA 1973
B.A. California Style University Hayward, CA, USA 1976 M.A. San Francisco State University, CA, USA
Lives and works in Tiburon, CA, USAExhibitions
Single Exhibitions (Selection)
2011 Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA 2007 Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA, USA
Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA 2004 Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, USA 2003/01/98 Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA 1997/94/93 Modernism, San Francisco, CA, USA 1995 Fletcher Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA 1990 Jeremy Stone Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA 1987 Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA 1982/84 Hank Baum Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA
Group Exhibitions (Selection)
2011 The Art of the Book, Donna Saeger Gallery, San Rafael, CA, USA
The Art of Painting in the 21st Century, John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, CA, USA 2010 Americans at Play, Sullivan Goss an American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
A Winter Quartet, Sullivan Goss an American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
100 Grand, Sullivan Goss an American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA, USA 2009 Landscape, Portraits, Still Lifes and Sculpture, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA
Translations, Susan Street Fine Art Gallery, Solana Beach, CA, USA 2008 Contemporary Still Life, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, USA 2007 Contemporary Selections, Hackett-Freddman Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA
The Art of Food, K Gallery, Alameda, CA, USA 2005 Sonoma valley Museum of Art 2005 Biennial, Sonoma, CA, USA
California New Old Masters, Gallery C, Hermosa Beach, CA, USA
Looking Back and Seeing Forward, Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA 2003 The Not-So-Still Life, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, USA 2002 Books Without Pages, Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum, ID, USA 2000 A Noble Tradition Revisited, Spanierman Gallery LLC, New York City, USA 1999 Re-Presenting Representation IV, Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY, USA
Contemporary Realism, Lisa Kurts Gallery, Memphis, TN, USA 1994 A Room With A View, The North Point Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA 1989 Proof Positive, Simon James Gallery, Berkeley, CA, USA 1987 Contemporary Realism, Palo Alto Cultural Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA 1982 Northern California Realist Painters, Redding Museum, Redding, CA, USA 1971 Upstart, Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA, USA