EMILY GERALDINE COONAN
Private Collection, Montreal
Karen Antaki, Emily Coonan (1885-1971), Concordia Art Gallery, Montreal, 1987.
According to Karen Antaki: "... Although undated, this lot is stylistically akin to works of the late 40s, and encapsulates Coonan’s signature ability to transform mundane subjects into persuasive paintings. Carefully composed, effortlessly executed, it depicts an arrangement of meal-related items — lettuce, tomatoes, a teapot and an empty sugar bowl — set out on a kitchen tabletop. The crockery is commonplace, the produce is plain, and the space is otherwise empty. Despite its homely traits, and the familiarity of the ordinary objects, the setting remains anonymous, much like the ‘portraits’ of Coonan’s early years. In many ways this ambiguity enhances the painting’s universal appeal; the scene is knowable, if unknown. This intimated familiarity, along with the fresh naturalism of the colour scheme, serves to trigger memories of easy, breezy summer meals."