A while ago I was going to read an article about the book business, but my gaze was immediately drawn to the illustration, an image of a still life of a stack of books, by British painter Jessica Allen. I googled her and found her home page, a treasure trove of images of still lifes of mundane objects: boxes, paper bags and books.
The paintings have an almost dreamlike and contemplative quality, somewhat akin to the still lifes of Giorgio Morandi (1890–1964), whose paintings are noted for their tonal refinement in depicting everyday objects: bottles, bowls and vases. But Jessica Allens still lifes of books speaks more directly to me. They are, in a sense, adventurous, despite the mundane subject matter and muted colors.
Allen granted me permission to display a few images. Thank you.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
All images © Jessica Allen