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Photorealism Revisited opens at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Robert Neffson (American, b.1949). 57th Street, 2011. Oil on linen, 56 x 79 in. (142.2 x 200.7 cm). Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery, New York . © Courtesy International Arts®.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK.- The Oklahoma City Museum of Art presents Photorealism Revisited, organized by International Arts®, an exhibition of 64 paintings rendered in a highly realistic, photographic style, on view from Jan. 24 through April 21. The exhibition features paintings by 38 Photorealist artists who have embraced photography as a crucial part of the artistic process.

Photorealism Revisited features works by pioneers of Photorealism including Robert Bechtle, Tom Blackwell, Charles Bell, Chuck Close, Robert Cottingham, Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Ron Kleemann, Richard McLean, and Ben Schonzeit, who each independently arrived at the decision to use photography as a source for their painting.

The term “Photorealism” was coined by gallery owner Louis K. Meisel in 1968 to describe a group of artists who began favoring a new type of photographic realism in the 1960s. This aesthetic came about after the height of the modern, non-objective, and abstract expressionist art of the mid-20th century and the consumer-based imagery associated with Pop art.

Photorealists were initially denounced for copying photography, and their work was dismissed for lacking artistic merit. Considered a reactionary fad, the art movement eventually gained recognition and reached its height in the 1970s. Artists continue to embrace Photorealism today. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in figurative imagery, narrative content, and illusionistic space. The return of representational art among avant-garde artists has prompted a new review of Photorealism that can be seen in works by artists such as David Parrish, Robert Gniewek, Don Jacot, Anthony Brunelli, Cheryl Kelley, Peter Maier, Robert Neffson, and others.

“Photorealism Revisited highlights the important influence of photography on the history of painting in American art. The Museum is excited to showcase these important Photorealist paintings, demonstrating a uniqueness of artistic technique and visual content,” said Jennifer Klos, associate curator. “Viewers will be able to see incredible detail in the paintings, which range in size from large to small.”

Quintessentially American, although now an international art movement, many of the works in Photorealism Revisited focus on typical aspects of our urban and suburban landscapes such as trucks, motorcycles, cars, and roadside eateries. Other themes include portraiture, the still life and images of popular culture such as toys, comic books, and food.

The highly technical process associated with Photorealism and its use of imagery from popular culture creates accessible paintings that continue to capture the imagination of their audiences.



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