Beth Edwards

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

Beth Edwards is known for contemporary still-life painting with sensuous, metaphorical realism. Referencing historical vanitas paintings, 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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Hydrangea IX
Hydrangea IX
Hydrangea X
Hydrangea X
Bouquet 1
Bouquet 1
Bouquet II
Bouquet II
Clover II
Clover II
Clover IV
Clover IV
Clover V
Clover V
Clover VI
Clover VI
Clover VII
Clover VII
CLover IX
CLover IX
Clover X
Clover X
Clover XI
Clover XI
Clover XIII
Clover XIII
Clover XIV
Clover XIV
Clover XV
Clover XV
Morning Glories I
Morning Glories I
Morning Glories II
Morning Glories II
Morning Glories III
Morning Glories III
Morning Glories IV
Morning Glories IV
Daffodils I
Daffodils I
Daffodils II
Daffodils II
Hydrangea XI
Hydrangea XI
Last Day Light
Last Day Light
Microcosm IV
Microcosm IV
Microcosm V
Microcosm V
Dark Lily II
Dark Lily II
Hydrangea XII
Hydrangea XII
Hydrangea XIII
Hydrangea XIII
Zinnia I
Zinnia I
Hydrangea IV
Hydrangea IV
Hydrangea IX
Hydrangea IX
oil on canvas, 42x60
2018
Hydrangea X
Hydrangea X
oil on canvas, 42x66
2017
Bouquet 1
Bouquet 1
oil on canvas, 32x38
2018
Bouquet II
Bouquet II
oil on canvas, 19x18
2018
Clover II
Clover II
oil on canvas, 22x24
2016
Clover IV
Clover IV
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Clover V
Clover V
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Clover VI
Clover VI
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Clover VII
Clover VII
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
CLover IX
CLover IX
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Clover X
Clover X
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Clover XI
Clover XI
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Clover XIII
Clover XIII
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Clover XIV
Clover XIV
oil on canvas, 12x12
2019
Clover XV
Clover XV
oil on canvas, 12x12
2019
Morning Glories I
Morning Glories I
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Morning Glories II
Morning Glories II
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Morning Glories III
Morning Glories III
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Morning Glories IV
Morning Glories IV
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Daffodils I
Daffodils I
oil on canvas, 12x12
2018
Daffodils II
Daffodils II
oil on canvas, 58x32
2018
Hydrangea XI
Hydrangea XI
oil on canvas, 42x60
2018
Last Day Light
Last Day Light
oil on canvas, 42x60
2017
Microcosm IV
Microcosm IV
oil on canvas, 42x66
2017
Microcosm V
Microcosm V
oil on canvas, 40x48
2017
Dark Lily II
Dark Lily II
oil on canvas, 32x49
2018
Hydrangea XII
Hydrangea XII
oil on canvas, 42x66
2018
Hydrangea XIII
Hydrangea XIII
oil on canvas, 42x60
2018
Zinnia I
Zinnia I
oil on canvas, 22x24
2017
Hydrangea IV
Hydrangea IV
oil on canvas, 60x42
2015

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