Photographs by Douglas Mellor. Introduction by Paul Caponigro. Text by Rick Wester.
58 pp., 35 duotone illustrations, 11½x9½".
In creating classically arranged still-lifes of food and other objects, Mellor steps comfortably into some pretty big shoes. Caravaggio, Velazquez, Jan van Eyck, and the entire Flemish school of painting, have treated the subject without exhausting it. Even Monet, in the last half of the 19th century, painted table top arrangements of food, and the history of photography, of course, is not wanting for examples from the genre. What Mellor brings to the subject, however, is the exactitude of large-format b&w negatives, a refined modern sensibility, and lastly, an element of travel. In the cities he visits he takes time to photograph locally found objects in tabletop arrangements. There is White Cloth, London, 2000, where the marble table is barely visible on the edges of the frame, peeking out from under the tablecloth. A walnut rests to the left of the cloth, while a silver plate and wine glass sit on top of the cloth which fills the bottom half of the frame. In Situ also showcases parts of other strong bodies of work, including nudes and abstract cut-paper work.
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