|Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers 1888 oil on canvas|
Probably the most famous flower picture in the world.
It has physical substance because he used so much paint.
|Paul Cezanne Still life with skull 1985-90|
the background seems to be there to give depth and contrast to the gorgeous fruit and skull.
|Pierre Bonnard The Open Window c.1921 oil on canvas|
The group of artists he worked with, The Nabis, aimed to express feeling through colour,
and to simplify the lines and shapes in their paintings.
From the early 20th Century, it becomes more and more tricky to work out where the boundaries of 'still-life' are, because represenations or collections (or sculptures) of medium sized objects began to be used more or less subtly to demonstrate things other than the appearance or feeling of the objects themselves.
|Salvador Dali Lobster Telephone 1936|
Exploring the effect of surreal juxtapositions of objects.
'a spontaneous method of irrational knowledge.'
|Louise Nevelson Royal Tide IV 1959-60|
Assemblage of wood scavenged from the street.
Georgio Morandi Still Life 1960
oil on canvas
The Art Book comments 'the sense of calm meditation that
pervades his paintings invites comparison with Chardin and Cezanne.'
Plain shapes in subdued colours and blank background.
This links to Nicolas de Stael Bouteilles Rouges 1955 oil on canvas, which shows what can happen when the painter takes a step further towards complete abstraction. The focus becomes even more the colours and shapes and their relationships with each other. The background here has as much intensity as the objects themselves.
Robert Raushenberg Reservoir
1961 oil, pencil, fabric, wood and metal
Wanting to act 'in the gap between'
art and life.
Which seems appropriate for still life.
Inspiration for pop art movement.
Claes Oldenberg Giant Hamburger 1962
Printed sailcloth stuffed with foam (132x213 cm)
Sculpture rather than still-life in the usual sense, with the meaning supplied by the image's advertising prominence in the USA.
From 1960s, most of the still-life works I can find, or find interesting, are three dimensional.
I'll have to think about why that might be, other than that it has been unfashionable to draw or paint still-life.
Dempsey, A (2010 edition) Styles Schools & Movements. The Essential Encyclopaedic Guide to Modern Art Thames & Hudson, London
1994 The Art Book Phaidon, London