What this exhibition demonstrates, in a particularly fascinating way, is that there are really as many forms of 'realism' as there are realist artists. Many of the artists ' in fact nearly all ' of those shown here fall into the category of art that is now often described as 'hyper-real'. This implies not simply a description in paint of the thing seen, but an intensification of vision. The painter invites the spectator to see more ' more intensely ' than he or she could manage unaided. Many of the paintings have a hallucinatory quality. It's not going too far to say that an encounter with at least some of them is bordering on a religious experience. This, of course, is a paradox, since realist painting is generally supposed to bring us closer to what we know, rather than taking us away from it. One of the things that the show makes one realize is that seeing may be a nearly universal experience, but that every individual tends to employ this faculty in a slightly different way. The test, here, is that it is easy to pick out different styles and approaches among the works on view. You don't need an education in art in order to do it. From this, perhaps, one can proceed to the idea that while every painter sees differently, so does every spectator. In other words, what is offered here is essentially a series of dialogues. The subject matter is usually familiar. The 'factuality' of the work ' if one may call it that ' offers an anchor that is different from our encounters with other kinds of art. Yet, at the same time, this factuality offers a unique and exhilarating springboard for the imagination.
Art Historian, Critic and Author
Works from: Philip Munoz, Neil Douglas, Nathan Walsh.
click HERE to view the exhibition catalogue