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Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin to Present Picturing America: Photorealism in the 70s
Ralph Goings (b. 1928), McDonalds Pickup, 1970. Oil on canvas 104.1 x 104.1 cm. OK Harris Works of Art, New York. Courtesy O.K. Harris Works of Art, New York. © Ralph Goings.


BERLIN.- At the end of the 1960s, a number of young artists working in the United States began making realist paintings based directly on photographs. With meticulous detail, they portrayed the objects, people, and places that defined both urban and suburban contemporary American life. Various terms were used to describe this art, chief among them Hyperrealism and Photorealism.

Unlike their contemporaries the Pop artists, the Photorealists did not present their ubiquitous, and in many cases mundane, subject matter in an ironic manner. Rather, they stayed more or less faithful to the mechanical reproductions that served as their point of departure. Using a variety of methods to translate photographic information onto the canvas, these artists produced vivid images of such themes as reflective shop windows, shiny cars, sugary foodstuffs, and family vacations, often on a scale vastly larger than their source materials.

Picturing America: Photorealism in the 1970s, the first major showing of Photorealism in Germany in nearly thirty years, features thirty-one paintings, a number of them the most iconic works of the period, by fourteen artists: Robert Bechtle, Charles Bell, Tom Blackwell, Chuck Close, Robert Cottingham, Don Eddy, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings, Ron Kleeman, Richard McLean, Malcolm Morley, John Salt, and Ben Schonzeit. At once deeply nostalgic and incredibly fresh, the works in this exhibition provide a snapshot of both this important chapter in art history and a particular moment in American history. The exhibition will acknowledge the recognition accorded to American Photorealism in Germany during the 1970s through the inclusion of numerous works collected by Peter and Irene Ludwig and a portfolio of ten lithographs produced in conjunction with Documenta V, which included a major presentation dedicated to the movement.





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December 25, 2008

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