Sheldon Tapley: Not-So Still-Life

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Daniel Brown reflects on the still life painting of Sheldon Tapley.

Brown writes: "… Tapley loves to 'pack' his compositions – reminding us that he matured under the aegis of Abstract Expressionism. Working in the realist idiom challenged him to flatten the pictorial space to make an object seem 'present,' a tactic he learned from looking at Cézanne. Tapley designs his works as pieces of stagecraft. There's a flagrant exhibitionism afoot, as well as an exuberant physicality – a veneration of life's cornucopia of foods, fabrics and fleshes. When he weaves aspects of Matisse and Cézanne into the typologies of the Baroque masters, we know we're in the presence of an artist who veers dangerously – tilting picture planes towards us, as if the players/objects were walking off the stage into the audience."

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