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CONNERSMITH. Presents Katie Miller and Agniet Snoep

Katie Miller, A Young Lady Adorned with Beads, 2013, oil on panel. Photo courtesy of CONNERSMITH.

Katie Miller, A Young Lady Adorned with Beads, 2013, oil on panel. Photo courtesy of CONNERSMITH.

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Artist Talk: Saturday, April 12 at 5pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 12 from 6pm to 8pm

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Click here for Eric Hope’s interview with Agniet Snoep.

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CONNERSMITH presents Katie Miller’s second solo exhibition with the Gallery. “Enduring” features a new series of portraits painted in oil on wood panel. Miller’s works have been likened to those of John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, yet her latest paintings engage more deeply with the master works of Hans Memling, Titian, and Bronzino.

In these paintings Miller depicts children in brilliant colors and astonishing detail. Situating live models in historically inspired poses, the artist renders breathtaking visions of contemporary youthfulness within timeless contexts. Miller’s bust- and half-length portraits of preadolescent girls and boys recall canonical portrayals of rulers and aristocrats. Her larger, full-length portraits secularize the vertical energy of resurrection and assumption scenes in Renaissance altarpieces. Nuanced emotions in the children’s faces intensify the power and mystery inherent in the paintings’ compositions.

Miller augments her young subjects with trendy accessories – toys, beads, costumes, and electronic gadgets. These common trappings of the hyper-present provoke the hierarchical formats of the past, emphasizing that “Enduring” means both long lasting and able to withstand duress. Miller draws from an age-old artistic tradition to create imagery that alludes to pressures experienced by present-day youth. Her fine brushwork produces smooth, gemlike surfaces. Subtle expressions of self-awareness reveal each child’s state of transition from childhood to adulthood. The models’ dispositions and adornments suggest that children currently face challenges such as social issues, gender expectations, power struggles, and technological absorption. If, as they endure these pressures, boys and girls become more knowing, they may also become hardened, like the alluring, impermeable pigments in which the artist portrayed them.

Katie Miller’s works are in the following collections: The Rubell Family Collection, Miami; 21C Museum, Louisville; Ognibene Collection, Washington, DC; among others.

CONNERSMITH also presents Agniet Snoep’s Alive and Present. The Dutch artist’s first U.S. solo exhibition features a recent series of photographs inspired by the still life tradition in the golden age of Dutch painting. Snoep’s pictures are stunningly beautiful, uncompromisingly detailed, and provocatively strange.

Each photograph depicts a fascinating arrangement of organic objects and meticulously preserved creatures staged against dark backgrounds. Insects, small reptiles, birds and mammals, exotic flowers, fruits, shells, and marine organisms appear in varied colors, shapes, textures and degrees of luminosity in Snoep’s captivating images, which recall specimens found in Renaissance collectors’ cabinets.

The artist deploys still life to explore meanings that arise from new pictorial associations. Snoep asserts, “I’m not a still life photographer. I use the genre to express my theme.” Her position has profound personal and cultural resonances. She draws inspiration from the work of her seventeenth-century ancestor, Ambrosius Bosschaert, particularly from “Dead Frog with Flies,” a painting he made in Holland around 1630, now in the Fondation Custodia (Frits Lugt) in Paris. The Dutch author, F. Bordewijk, saw Bosschaert’s work in 1935 and wrote, “The macabre impression of the present is immediately intensified by the sinister of what is coming. So it doesn’t show the excess of the horrible, but leaves room for the imagination of the viewer.” Snoep explains, “I recognized, in the perfectly painted flies and (Bordewijk’s) description, my own inspiration for the use of insects in my work. This was the reason to give insects meaning in the tradition of Dutch still life.”

The intimate displays of curiosities in Snoep’s works seduce viewers’ imaginations beyond the material surfaces she photographs. Creating psychological tensions and opening possibilities for personal interpretations, the artist subverts the apparent objectivity of the camera’s lens.

Agniet Snoep’s works have been exhibited in the Musèe Vodou, Strasbourg, France; Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam and Stedelijk Museum; Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The artists will speak on their work Saturday, April 12th at 5pm sharp. There will be an opening night reception at CONNERSMITH. on Saturday, April 12th from 6 to 8pm. Artists in attendance.

Gallery Hours :

  • Wednesday – Saturday: 11am – 5pm
  • and by appointment

CONNERSMITH. is located at 1358 Florida Avenue, NE. For further information or images, please contact the Gallery at 202-588-8750 or [email protected]

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Post provided by the East City Art Editorial Team.

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  1. Thanks for the description of these to interesting artists work. It sure makes me want to go see how they update the classical themes.

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