Still Life with Strawberries, circa 1885
Oil on canvas, 8 x 11 7/8 inches
Signed J. Decker lower right
Early-20th Century American Frame
Collection of Maude Durrell, Kennebunkport, Maine
Collection of William Wall, Maine
Private Collection, Lexington, Massachusetts
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Brandywine Museum, Fruits of Summer, 6 June - 7 September 2009
After receiving conventional instruction in drawing at the National Academy of Design in New York and pursuing a year of study in Munich, Joseph Decker returned to Brooklyn to produce astonishingly original still-life paintings that were unique in their time and remain remarkably fresh and surprising to our contemporary eyes.
In this sharply-focused, shallow-dimensional view, Decker humorously shatters the conventions of the elegant table-top still life by presenting a commercial market container and leaving us to pick through the fruit, from the immature, to the lusciously ripe, to the soft and decomposing and the scattered remains of berries already eaten.