Edmond Praybe – Press Release

Small Histories

March 2-27, 2021

oil painting, pastel clored shapes

Nestling, oil on linen on panel, 36 x 36 inches, 2020

FIRST STREET GALLERY is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Edmond Praybe. Small Histories, a collection of recent still life paintings, will run from March, 2-27th.

Small Histories addresses the boundaries between formal abstraction, rigorous observation and a purely visual narrative through the vehicle of still life painting. The objects in these works have all been held on to over many years, not only for their tactile qualities, but for their attachments to certain memories, places and people. Old clothing, dishes, birds’ nests, fabric scraps and stones all contain small stories and memories. Praybe imagines these stories intersecting across time and space in modest, unassuming still life arrangements. Certain elements reappear from painting to painting like characters weaving in and out of intertwining vignettes. Figures make themselves known occasionally, but often the human element is only alluded to by the signs of daily activity; a cup and saucer, a meticulously placed collared shirt, heirloom bowls, seashells from a treasured family trip and various bric-a-brac, all of which is overtly staged by the human hand. The stories conjured in these stagings are opaque and their meanings open through a slow unraveling of elusive visual connections and connotations.

These paintings are concerned with the convergence of perception and abstraction. The work searches for common ground between maintaining a fidelity to the seen world expressed in paint and developing carefully arranged surface divisions of geometry, color and tone.

Small Histories is Edmond Praybe’s third solo exhibition at First Street Gallery. He received his BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art and MFA from the New York Studio School. Edmond’s work has been shown widely in juried and invitational exhibitions and is held in many private collections across the US and abroad. He has been the recipient of the Hohenberg Travel Grant, two Mercedes Matter Awards and was a National Parks Artist in Residence at Catoctin Mountain Park. Edmond teaches studio classes and lectures regularly in-person and online through several institutions and organizations including Anne Arundel Community College, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Winslow Art Center and Townsend Atelier. He is also a proud member of Zeuxis: An Association of Still Life Painters headquartered in New York City.

More of Praybe’s work can be seen at www.edmondpraybe.com and Small Histories: Selected Works.