Flora and Fauna showcases flower and still life paintings that capture everything from carefully arranged roses, ripe apples, and dusty books to etched glass decanters. The paintings of contemporary Rhode Island artist Dana Levin will be featured. Levin, a Florence Academy of Art graduate, masterly paints still life from the texture of a flower to the filtering light through glass. Other historic painters join Levin in this exhibit lending perspective on the continued transformation of flower and still life painting by successive generations from accurate representation to modernist styles.
Still life is an intense study of nature and emerged as its own respected genre in Europe during the seventeenth century. American painters followed the European tradition fueled by the demands of local patrons who enthusiastically collected for their homes. By the 19th century Providence and Fall River had many successful still life painters, some on view in this exhibit. The later more modernist works of Florence Leif (1913 – 1968) and Gordon Peers (1909 – 1988) provide good examples of the new ideas of 20th century painters on the importance of color and perspective.
“Painting from nature is about the discovery of truth,” says featured Flora and Fauna artist Dana Levin about her work. She began her fine art education at 16 in Miami and later graduated early from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Levin went on to study and teach at the Florence Academy of Art, earning a three-year postgraduate certificate. She has traveled and studied throughout the world and it is evident in her highly refined oil painting that she pays homage to old world style. She has garnered many awards including the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco Merit Scholarship (1996), and The Art Renewal Center International Scholarship (2001 and 2002).