Stan Washburn

Long-time Berkeley artist Stan Washburn began his career as an etcher, using old master printmaking techniques to create whimsical, sometimes sardonic images. Turning to oil paintings in the 1980s, Stan often depicted people wandering through museum interiors, contrasting the high seriousness of the artistic environment with considerably lower-toned spectators from ordinary American life. In his “Homage to Peto,” Washburn has paid tribute to the great American nineteenth-century still life painter, at the same time as his depiction of an overabundance of Peto-esque objects suggests a gentle mockery of this genre of still life. Intimations of mortality are present in the snuffed out candle and metronome as are often found in nineteenth-century still lifes, but the energetic plethora of objects, including a nude woman, counteract the ominous seriousness of the memento mori. Washburn has created a delightful update of a time-honored genre.