Beth Lipman is an American artist whose sculptural practice generates from the Still Life genre, symbolically representing the splendor and excess of the Anthropocene and the stratigraphic layer humanity will leave on earth. Assemblages of inanimate objects and domestic interiors, inspired by private spaces and public collections, propose portraits of individuals, institutions, and societies.
Temporality and mortality-primary concerns linked to the Still Life tradition-are heightened through materiality. Works in glass, wood, metal, photography, and video disrupt the mechanisms of fixed, grand narratives in order to emphasize evanescence at the heart of ‘vanitas’. Sculptural processes become analogies for life cycles, pointing to systems both natural and human that must continually adapt in order to survive.
The works are a meditation on our relationship to Deep Time, a monumental time scale based on geologic events that minimizes human lives. Each installation is a reimagining of history, created by placing cycles often separated by millenia in proximity, from the ancient botanical to the cultural. The incorporation of prehistoric flora alludes to the impermanence of the present and the persistence of life. The ephemera of the Anthropocene becomes a symbol of fragility as the human species is placed on a continuum where time eradicates hierarchy.