Paulette Tavormina | Fiori del Giardino

Artists: Paulette Tavormina

Exhibition Information:

November 16, 2023 - January 6, 2024
Opening Reception:
November 16, 2023
Artist in attendance

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Please join us on Saturday, December 16th at 2:00 pm for an artist talk with David Pollack, Gail Buckland, Madeline Cornell, and Paulette Tavormina.⁠

Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is excited to announce Fiori del Giardino, a collection of photographs by Paulette Tavormina. This will be her first solo exhibition with the gallery. Through these strikingly detailed still life compositions, Tavormina reflects on moments of fleeting beauty in nature. With a clear nod to Old Master still life painting, Tavormina’s works are deeply personal and speak to her own family history and lived experience. 

Like Golden Era Dutch still lifes, Tavormina’s photographs capture theatrically lit flora, fauna, and foods. Her subjects are perfectly imperfect, and their relationships with one another create meaningful vignettes. Dutch Tulips and Goldfish, for example, is a cheerfully abundant composition depicting quintessentially Dutch flowers arranged organically in a glass bowl. A pair of fritillaria droop sweetly over the edge of the vase, just above two goldfish swimming together companionably. Most of the fruits and flowers in these works have been grown in the artist’s own garden and hold personal significance for Tavormina. Dahlias and peonies pay homage to past generations of her family who were avid gardeners, and the figs were grown from a cutting of her grandfather’s Sicilian fig tree. These and other tributes abound in the works, and through close looking, viewers can also find their own secret messages.

In creating her images, Tavormina often works against time, as newly plucked flowers begin to droop, fruit begins to rot, and the fleeting moment of perfectly arranged beauty passes. Insects are found throughout the works, hovering over flower petals or crawling over fruits, serving as a reminder of the interconnectedness and elegance in the natural world, even on the edge of decay. Beauty is ephemeral and difficult to find, and its human nature to seek it out. In Fiori del Giardino, Tavormina captures elements from nature, which is often wild, organic, and messy and elevates them into elegant compositions, capturing every intricate detail of an extraordinary moment in time. 

Paulette Tavormina has photographed works of art for Sotheby’s, fragrances for GOOP, and recipes for The Del Posto Cookbook (Hachette) with chef, Mark Ladner. She has been commissioned by National Geographic Magazine and The New York Times, among others. Previously, Tavormina was a prop and food stylist in Hollywood, her work seen on the silver screen in seven films such as Nixon, The Astronaut’s Wife and The Perfect Storm. Most recently, Paulette partnered with Gucci on their “Alchemist’s Garden” fragrance collection. Tavormina is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. Her monograph, Paulette Tavormina: Seizing Beauty (Monacelli Press, 2016) was reviewed by The New York Times and Architectural Digest. Tavormina’s photographs are held in museum, corporate and private collections and have been exhibited in Paris, London, Moscow, Lugano, Madrid, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, Boston, Palm Desert and San Francisco.