Beth Edwards

b. 1960, Decatur, AL
The paintings are both life affirming and sad. I want people to be struck by very little.
Roses III
Roses III

Beth Edwards is known for contemporary still-life painting with sensuous, metaphorical realism. Referencing historical vanitaspaintings, she re-invents the genre through a saturated palette, magnified cropping, and confrontational scale of her subjects. Her masterfully painted compositions can be read much like an intricate medieval tapestry: every detail of light, shadow, subject, and negative space is considered equally regardless of its actual visibility. Through this heightened immediacy, depictions of seemingly innocuous or straightforward moments in everyday life take on much deeper significance, complexity, and mystery. Meditative scenes of flowers and plants symbolize a magnificent yet vulnerable ephemerality and certainty of death. Portraits of dolls and familiar toys, often set in narrative environments, explore the animate and inanimate spheres of life, fabricated versions of reality, and society’s never-ceasing search for happiness.

Beth Edwards was born in Alabama and lives and works in Memphis. She received a BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA from Indiana University. The daughter of a painter and arts educator, Edwards has had an active 30-year career painting, exhibiting and teaching. She has taught painting at the University of Memphis since 2000 and is the recipient of many awards, grants, commissions, and residencies. Recent awards and honors include the Distinguished Research Award from The University of Memphis; Arts Accelerator Grant, ArtsMemphis; Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement in the Creative Arts Award, University of Memphis; Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration from ArtsMemphis; Willow Park Mural, UrbanArt Commission for the City of Memphis; and awarded artist for Memphis in May honoring Sweden in 2013. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions in galleries, museums, institutions and organizations across the United States, including the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL; the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis; Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago; Union University; Arkansas Art Center; Delta State University; and the San Francisco International Fine Arts Exposition.

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Roses III
Roses III
Roses IV
Roses IV
Clover XX
Clover XX
Clover XXI
Clover XXI
Garden X
Garden X
Garden IX
Garden IX
Garden VIII
Garden VIII
Garden VII
Garden VII
Garden VI
Garden VI
Hydrangea XXIII
Hydrangea XXIII
Hydrangea XXII
Hydrangea XXII
Hydrangea XXI
Hydrangea XXI
Hydrangea XX
Hydrangea XX
Hydrangea XIX
Hydrangea XIX
Hydrangea XVIII
Hydrangea XVIII
Small Hydrangea III
Small Hydrangea III
Flowers in a Vase VII
Flowers in a Vase VII
Flowers in Vase VIII
Flowers in Vase VIII
Roses III
Roses III
oil on canvas, 42x32
2021
Roses IV
Roses IV
oil on canvas, 32x42
2022
Clover XX
Clover XX
oil on canvas, 16x16
2021
Clover XXI
Clover XXI
oil on canvas, 12x12
2021
Garden X
Garden X
oil on canvas, 72x72
2023
Garden IX
Garden IX
oiul on canvas, 42x66
2022
Garden VIII
Garden VIII
oil on canvas, 72x27
2021
Garden VII
Garden VII
oil on canvas, 72x27
2021
Garden VI
Garden VI
oil on canvas, 42x66
2021
Hydrangea XXIII
Hydrangea XXIII
oil on canvas, 24x30
2023
Hydrangea XXII
Hydrangea XXII
oil on canvas, 40x48
2023
Hydrangea XXI
Hydrangea XXI
oil on canvas, 40x48
2023
Hydrangea XX
Hydrangea XX
oil on canvas, 42x60
2022
Hydrangea XIX
Hydrangea XIX
oil on canvas, 40x48
2022
Hydrangea XVIII
Hydrangea XVIII
oil on canvas, 40x48
2022
Small Hydrangea III
Small Hydrangea III
oil on canvas, 12x12
2021
Flowers in a Vase VII
Flowers in a Vase VII
oil on canvas, 42x25
2022
Flowers in Vase VIII
Flowers in Vase VIII
oil on canvas, 42x60
2022

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