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Jeffrey Ripple paints exquisitely beautiful and complex still life and landscape compositions that deftly capture the evanescent beauty of nature. Ripple's compositions, usually in oil on paper, sometimes on canvas, range from ambitious orchestrations of quotidian elements, such as flowers, fruit, and glass bottles, to spare, solitary plants or objects.
The artist often sets his elements against a golden-green-colored background with no specific plane or boundary to limit the image. This textured negative space, reminiscent not only of the influences of Chinese and Japanese art but also of the gold leaf backgrounds of medieval and early Renaissance religious painting, imbues the work with spiritual overtones.
Playing mass against void, and light against shadow, Ripple stages his dramatic 'portraits' for maximum impact while retaining the essence of his subjects. This construct, says critic Nancy Grimes, generates the aura of intimacy and religious space present in Ripple's painting.1 In this way, Ripple's paintings, with their meticulously rendered and placed forms; intense palette and edge (made possible by the paper ground); unusual perspectives (the objects are often seen from above); and concentrated realism transcend traditional botanical illustration and move into the realm of the divine.
Jeffrey Ripple received his master of fine arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1988. In addition to his better-known still lifes he is also an accomplished landscape and figure painter. His work is held in several public and private collections including the Exxon Corporation, Irving, TX; the Madison Art Center, Madison, WI; and the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK.
In his newest works, mostly produced with oil paint on paper, Ripple moves toward increasingly complex and ambitious compositions, which deftly capture the evanescent beauty of nature.
In the vanitas ..."