During the 1930s, Arthur Beecher Carles began to experiment with an uninhibited abstract style. First he explored a colorful palette, reminiscent of the work of the Fauves, and then he moved on to completely nonfigurative imagery that vacillates between geometric and biomorphic forms. Still Life with Flowers takes as its subject a very traditional motif: a tabletop on which sits a vase holding a floral bouquet. Carles's version, however, is nearly prismatic in presentation. It comprises twisting silhouettes and colorful imaginings that come into perspective only when you have identified the more familiar components, such as the jutting corner of the table in the lower right or the small, round vessel in the center. Tableaux such as this signify Carles's advancement of modernist ideals and identify him as a forerunner of the Abstract Expressionists.
Label from For the Love of Things: Still Life, February 27–May 29, 2016