Paul Rahilly: New Still Lifes
September 6th - October 6th 2007
Hirschl & Adler Modern is proud to present Paul Rahilly: New Still Lifes on September 6, 2007. This, the artist’s second solo exhibition at Hirschl & Adler Modern, will feature more than fifteen remarkable still lifes in oil, ranging in size from 6 x 8 inches to 26 x 34 inches.

Paul Rahilly has maintained his position as a leading figure in the ever-expanding field of contemporary American realism. Although he is equally admired and collected as a painter of figures, portraits, and landscapes, with these new works Rahilly offers us a fresh take on the art of still life.

Less a classicist than a modernist, Rahilly’s vigorous brushwork and often impressionistic style has little in common with the illusionism of trompe l’oeil. Instead, he incorporates both realism and abstractions of the natural world, while offering us complex visual experiences in his sophisticated compositions of lusciously applied paints.

In Colavita (12 x 18 in.), Rahilly sets up a lively dialogue between natural and man-made forms, simple and complex surfaces. Perfectly smooth surfaces of salt and pepper shakers, hard-boiled eggs, and a glass bottle filled with olive oil provide a clinically cool contrast to the assortment of irregular, bumpy, freshly baked breads with which they will be consumed. In Brioche and Coffee (18 x 26 in.), a bold orange and yellow floral tablecloth freshly laid with criss-crossed breakfast rolls and a brimming French coffee press dazzles us with its contrasts of exquisite colors, patterns, textures, and forms.

The lustrously painted Sardines (12 x 14 in.) is a true synthesis of representation and abstraction, as the lifeless fish piled in a stark paper container shimmer against the rhythmic wave-like scrollwork pattern of the deep sea blue tablecloth beneath them. Regardless of subject, Rahilly paints without pretense, offering us a bounty of foods and objects he loves. In each painting, one is at once drawn to the tactile qualities of the objects represented, and easily seduced by the sheer splendor of the paint itself.

Paul Rahilly was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1933. After earning his B.A. in Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University, Medford, MA, he moved to New York to study at the Art Students League. He earned his M.F.A. in 1977 from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. Since 1966, he has held several teaching positions at several institutions, most recently (in the last twenty years) as an instructor in Painting and Drawing at both the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston.

Paul Rahilly’s work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions at galleries and museums outside of Boston, including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The Greenville County Museum of Art Greenville, South Carolina recently mounted a solo exhibition of his work.