Audrey Flack Paintings: Audrey Flack Vanitas Tradition

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Audrey Flack paintings are more contemporary, but still use symbols to bring across her meaning.

Audrey Flack as an artist is known for her paintings in the vanitas tradition of art. The vanitas style in Audrey Flack paintings developed from the vanitas style that came into play in the 1600s. The vanitas tradition focuses on the transitory nature of life on earth. Audrey Flack paintings done in the vanitas tradition also examine impermanent sources of happiness.

Each vanitas artist explored these subjects, of things that bring us happiness on earth, in their own way.

Vanitas art became popular during the 1600s. Well-known vanitas artists include Jacob Marrel and Jacques Linard.

Jacob Marrel is also known as a Dutch Baroque Era painter. Apart from his vanitas paintings, which are compositions of several different types of objects, he also painted tulips. His work is presently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and many other museums.

Paintings by Jacques Linard can be seen at the Louvre in Paris as well as at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indiana. Many other museums also have his paintings.

Audrey Flack paintings can be viewed at the National Gallery of Australia and the Harvard University Art Museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and many other galleries also show her paintings.

Audrey Flack is recognized in the United States for her work in painting and sculpture. She is a pioneer with using photorealism and is well respected in the art world.

In the vanitas tradition, objects are usually placed in the painting in order to communicate a special meaning. Other forms of art from different cultures do this, for example each posture of the Amida Buddha has a different meaning. An ordinary object such as a clock will have special importance in a vanitas painting, depending on where it is placed in the painting.

The viewer has to be conscious of this when examining a vanitas painting, since the artist sometimes organizes the objects in the painting in a way that seems casual.

Audrey Flack paintings are more contemporary, but still use symbols to bring across her meaning. Like some other artists such as Yayoi Kusama, she has a distinctive and easily recognizable style. One of her series of paintings is based exclusively on the vanitas tradition.

In the paintings, she uses objects that are associated with contemporary meanings. For example, she uses cosmetics, candles and mirrors in her paintings to bring across her point.

One of Audrey Flack’s more well-known paintings in the vanitas tradition is Wheel of Fortune, in which she uses the presence of a die and a tarot card to put across her message that chance and fate play a role in life. 

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