Sylvia Spicuzza

Still Life with Artist's Hand, c.1950
11.38 x 17.25 in
SKU: DB2072d
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This still life is an unusual example of Sylvia Spicuzza's work, as most of her most significant output are geometric and biomorphic abstract images. The objects in the image - a sea shell, a pitcher, a heavy necklace - are objects the artist likely had at home and staged for the image. But of particular significance is the insertion of the artist's hand, as though she was reaching into the still life while she was painting. The hand has been a significant symbol of the artist throughout art history as a source of creation: Albrecht Dürer's 'Self Portrait at the Age of Twenty-Eight' (1500) highlights the artist's hand much like traditional images of Christ giving gestures of blessing. Likewise, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's 'Self Portrait as a Soldier' (1915) shows the artist in military uniform but with a severed hand as a symbol of helplessness during the First World War. Another important comparison, given Spicuzza is a Midwestern artist, is Ivan Albright's magic realist work 'That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door)' at the Art Institute of Chicago. The massive painting features a door with a memorial wreath, and at the right a withered hand reaching as a symbol of loss and regret. Thus by including her hand in this simple still life, Spicuzza has followed a long line of artists contemplating the source of creativity and genius, as well as exploring the expressive ability of a hand's gesture.

11.38 x 17.25 inches, artwork
17.5 x 22.88 inches, frame
Signed lower right