Night Café is proud to present ‘Vanitas’, a new group exhibition that thinks about life by considering the reality of death. Drawing inspiration from 17th-century "vanitas" paintings, the exhibition presents the work of Norberto Spina, Rebecca Halliwell Sutton and Taisiia Cherkasova.
ESSAY: Vanitas and the Shifting Perception of Life and Death
Through their sculptures and paintings, they engage with intricate concepts by exploring spirituality, everyday moments and their personal connections to the broader human experience. Vanitas painting, originating in Dutch 17th-century still lifes, aimed to remind viewers of the fleeting nature of life and the futility of worldly pursuits. Artists employed symbols like skulls, hourglasses, and withering flowers to convey the impermanence of material pleasures, urging spiritual reflection and pursuit of eternal values. The decline of organised religion, particularly evident in some parts of the Western world, has reshaped our perception of time and mortality. With traditional ideas of an afterlife evolving or fading away, space has appeared for new perceptions of life and death.
‘Vanitas’ will open on September 22nd from 6 to 8 PM at 162 New Cavendish St until November 3rd, 2023.