Ralph Goings
Donut, 2006
pigmented inkjet on rag paper
22 x 32 in.
edition of 30

Ralph Goings’s elegant, meticulously rendered still lifes are an extension of the classical still life tradition, but their subject matter is unmistakably contemporary, drawn from the diners and luncheonettes of 20th century, blue-collar America. Magnolia Editions has published a series of five pigmented inkjet prints by Goings which reproduce in crisp, vibrant detail some of the artist’s favorite paintings from the 1990s. Whether documenting a countertop display in a diner or configuring his “family of objects” in his studio, Goings’s process is the same: he photographs the arrangement and then creates oil paintings with an extraordinary realism that effectively brings the two-dimensional photographs back to life. His loving attention to the play of light on glass and metal surfaces, combined with a masterful use of color, draws out the architectonic grandeur of humble salt shakers and ketchup bottles. These objects, ordinarily peripheral accessories to the “bas cuisine” meal, are not only celebrated as sophisticated works of industrial sculpture, but are given their own moment – literally, a chance to shine – by the man who has been called “the American Vermeer.” -Nick Stone