Beth Edwards

b. 1960, Decatur, AL
The paintings are both life affirming and sad. I want people to be struck by very little.
Roses IV
Roses IV

Beth Edwards is known for contemporary still-life painting with sensuous, metaphorical realism. Referencing historical vanitaspaintings, she re-invents the genre through a saturated palette, magnified cropping, and confrontational scale of her subjects. Her masterfully painted compositions can be read much like an intricate medieval tapestry: every detail of light, shadow, subject, and negative space is considered equally regardless of its actual visibility. Through this heightened immediacy, depictions of seemingly innocuous or straightforward moments in everyday life take on much deeper significance, complexity, and mystery. Meditative scenes of flowers and plants symbolize a magnificent yet vulnerable ephemerality and certainty of death. Portraits of dolls and familiar toys, often set in narrative environments, explore the animate and inanimate spheres of life, fabricated versions of reality, and society’s never-ceasing search for happiness.

Beth Edwards was born in Alabama and lives and works in Memphis. She received a BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA from Indiana University. The daughter of a painter and arts educator, Edwards has had an active 30-year career painting, exhibiting and teaching. She has taught painting at the University of Memphis since 2000 and is the recipient of many awards, grants, commissions, and residencies. Recent awards and honors include the Distinguished Research Award from The University of Memphis; Arts Accelerator Grant, ArtsMemphis; Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement in the Creative Arts Award, University of Memphis; Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration from ArtsMemphis; Willow Park Mural, UrbanArt Commission for the City of Memphis; and awarded artist for Memphis in May honoring Sweden in 2013. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions in galleries, museums, institutions and organizations across the United States, including the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL; the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis; Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago; Union University; Arkansas Art Center; Delta State University; and the San Francisco International Fine Arts Exposition.

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Roses IV
Roses IV
Roses II
Roses II
Hydrangea XX
Hydrangea XX
Hydrangea XIX
Hydrangea XIX
Hydrangea XVIII
Hydrangea XVIII
Hydrangea XVII
Hydrangea XVII
Clover XX
Clover XX
Clover XXI
Clover XXI
Purple Zinnia
Purple Zinnia
Pink Zinnia
Pink Zinnia
Small Hydrangea
Small Hydrangea
Small Hydrangea II
Small Hydrangea II
Small Hydrangea III
Small Hydrangea III
Garden V
Garden V
Garden I
Garden I
Garden II
Garden II
Garden III (Joy)
Garden III (Joy)
Garden IV
Garden IV
Clover XVIII
Clover XVIII
Clover XIX
Clover XIX
Flowers in Vase II
Flowers in Vase II
Flowers in Vase III
Flowers in Vase III
Flowers in Vase IV
Flowers in Vase IV
Red Zinnia IV
Red Zinnia IV
Roses IV
Roses IV
oil on canvas, 32x42
2022
Roses II
Roses II
oil on canvas, 16x16
2021
Hydrangea XX
Hydrangea XX
oil on canvas, 42x60
2022
Hydrangea XIX
Hydrangea XIX
oil on canvas, 40x48
2022
Hydrangea XVIII
Hydrangea XVIII
oil on canvas, 40x48
2022
Hydrangea XVII
Hydrangea XVII
oil on canvas, 42x66
2021
Clover XX
Clover XX
oil on canvas, 16x16
2021
Clover XXI
Clover XXI
oil on canvas, 12x12
2021
Purple Zinnia
Purple Zinnia
oil on canvas, 12x12
2020
Pink Zinnia
Pink Zinnia
oil on canvas, 12x12
2020
Small Hydrangea
Small Hydrangea
oil on canvas, 15x15
2021
Small Hydrangea II
Small Hydrangea II
oil on canvas, 12x12
2021
Small Hydrangea III
Small Hydrangea III
oil on canvas, 12x12
2021
Garden V
Garden V
oil on canvas, 27x72
2020
Garden I
Garden I
oil on canvas, 40x48
2020
Garden II
Garden II
oil on canvas, 40x48
2020
Garden III (Joy)
Garden III (Joy)
oil on canvas, 42x60
2020
Garden IV
Garden IV
oil on canvas, 27x72
2020
Clover XVIII
Clover XVIII
oil on canvas, 12x123
2019
Clover XIX
Clover XIX
oil on canvas, 40x48
2020
Flowers in Vase II
Flowers in Vase II
oil on canvas, 38x32
2019
Flowers in Vase III
Flowers in Vase III
oil on canvas, 25x42
2020
Flowers in Vase IV
Flowers in Vase IV
oil on canvas, 42x25
2020
Red Zinnia IV
Red Zinnia IV
oil on canvas, 38x32
2019

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