After the Golden Age is an installation of allegorical ceramic still lifes inspired by both vanitas motifs and luxury objects from the 16th and 17th centuries. Russell’s tableaus explore the notions of artifice and material value, a study that is enhanced by the artist’s keen attention to verisimilitude. Birds of prey hunt among objets de vertu, snakes slither across exotically patterned plaques, floral bouquets await the withering worm, and garden across exotically patterned plaques, floral bouquets await the withering worm, and garden snails overwhelm the busts of yesterday’s heroes. Taken as a whole, the exhibition suggests a forgotten provincial Kunstkammer and offers a gentle elegy to the “end of empire.”
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