If Bird the Silence Contradict

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Katja Oxman’s still lifes allude to a tranquil, interior world. Their unidentifiable space serves as miniature rooms where seemingly nothing occurs beyond their perimeters. The prints are structured like tableaus and appear to be settings for parables with unknown or half-remembered connotations and pay homage to the artist’s private history and cultural past. Each composition is filled with an elegant and deeply personal array of objects. To quote Noël Arnaud, “I am the space where I am.” In addition to the closed, secretive boxes, fruits, and orchids there are colorful feathers, small birds and other subtle references to air and flight. Another constant is her use of Oriental rugs and a wide assortment of postcards, announcements, and reproductions of paintings. While grounding the objects, the carpets provide an intricate, geometrically patterned foundation with an exotic cultural history. The postcards establish an orderly—if at times jittering—Mondrian-like grid in her interior space while simultaneously providing visual puns and paying homage to the art and artists she admires. Her repertoire of objects and reproductions reappear in an altered guise or different space, such as the classically serene Dance of the Gods by Giovanni Bellini. In the first panel of the diptych, If Bird the Silence Contradict, the landscape backdrop for Bellini’s allegory is incorporated as a window. Further information is available on the artist's website.