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Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in New York.

Painter, watercolourist. Urban landscapes.

John Baeder paints in an exaggerated realist style which places him among the Hyperrealists. He enjoys painting typically American places, such as small tourist camps and converted trucks, buses or trailers used for selling hamburgers by the side of the road or in towns....

Article

Janet Bishop

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1932).

American painter. Native of the San Francisco Bay Area, known for careful observation and explicit use of snapshot-like photographic source material for paintings of family, cars, and residential neighborhoods. The artist rose to national and international prominence in early 1970s as part of the Photorealist movement (see Photorealism).

From the 1960s, Bechtle pursued a quiet realism based on the things he knew best, translating what seem to be ordinary scenes of middle-class American life into paintings. Following an early childhood in the Bay Area and Sacramento, his family settled in 1942 in Alameda, an island suburb adjacent to Oakland where his mother would occupy the same house for almost 60 years. The neighborhood appears in many of Bechtle’s paintings.

Bechtle earned both his BFA (1954) and his MFA (1958) at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied graphic design and then painting. During his student years and into the 1960s, Bechtle was influenced by Pop art’s precedent for the use of commercial subject matter and techniques. He was likewise interested in Bay Area figuration, especially the subjects and structure of paintings by ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1935; died 1995.

Painter.

Charles Bell practises the technique of photorealism, often featuring unusual objects, even children's mechanical toys, avoiding the stereotype of Hyper-Realism by starting from an existing reality that is either ready-made or already at two removes thanks to photography. He has taken part in group exhibitions on Hyper-Realism at the Institute of Arts in Kalamazoo, the South Bend Art Center, the Springfield Art Museum (Missouri), the Dartmouth College Museums and Galleries, Hanover, and the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln (Massachusetts)....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 9 March 1938, in Chicago.

Painter.

Tom Blackwell's early work was abstract, but influenced by Pop Art, he moved towards photorealism and began to paint large-scale works, which often featured motorcycles, cars and planes.

1966, Psychedelic Art, Riverside Museum, New York...

Article

(b Monroe, WA, July 5, 1940).

American painter and printmaker. He studied (1960–65) at the University of Washington, Seattle, at Yale University, and at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. During this period he painted biomorphic abstract works, influenced by the avant-garde American art of the previous two decades. After a brief experiment with figurative constructions, he began copying black-and-white photographs of a female nude in colour on to canvas. After abandoning this approach he used a black-and-white palette, which resulted in the 6.7 m long Big Nude (1967–8; artist’s col., see Lyons and Storr, p. 14). Finding this subject too ‘interesting’, he turned to neutral, black-and-white head-and-shoulder photographs as models, which he again reproduced in large scale on canvas, as in Self-portrait (1968; Minneapolis, MN, Walker A. Cent.). He incorporated every detail of the photograph and allowed himself no interpretative freedom. Working from photographs enabled him to realize the variations in focus due to changing depth of field, something impossible when working from life. He continued in the black-and-white style until ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Brooklyn (New York City).

Painter. Urban landscapes.

Robert Cottingham studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He has been staging solo exhibitions in the USA since 1968.

His painting is Hyperrealist in style and based on photographs. Urban signage is the constant theme of his work. The layout of most of his paintings is based on low-angled, off-centre views, often cutting off the subject. The meaning of the signs is of little interest to Cottingham, who is more concerned with their physical reality, the style of the lettering and their integration into the space of the canvas. His approach is not one of strict Realism but a stylisation of the real, using colours in flat tints....

Article

(Louis)

(b Denver, CO, Nov 24, 1941).

American sculptor. He studied at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1961–5), and was an art assistant at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (1966–8). He had his first one-man show at the OK Harris Gallery in New York in 1970. He rapidly developed a style of casting and then painting fibreglass or polyvinyl acetate sculptures of figures from live models. His techniques evolved to include refinements for achieving his hyper-realistic effects, including layering paint and glazes to depict a variety of skin surfaces and veins, creating individual characteristics such as moles and freckles, and implanting hair instead of adding wigs (see fig.). The extreme verism of his work links it to Photorealism, although it lacks the strong cultural identity evident in much Photorealist sculpture and painting. Many of the sculptures are of one or two young, elegant, and casually posed nude figures, as in ...

Article

Mark W. Sullivan

(b Long Beach, CA, Nov 4, 1944).

American painter and printmaker. Eddy studied at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu (BFA, 1967, MFA, 1969) and came to prominence in the early 1970s as an exponent of Photorealism, producing airbrushed paintings based on photographs of automobiles (e.g. Untitled, 1971; Aachen, Neue Gal.), the displays in shop windows or still-lifes, as in New Shoes for H (1973; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.). He treated similar subjects in screenprints and in colour lithographs such as Red Mercedes (1972; see 1973 exh. cat., p. 35). Rather than basing a painting or print on a single photograph, as was the case with other photorealists, Eddy would work from as many as 40 photographs to ensure a consistently sharp focus for his often spatially complex images.

From the 1980s Eddy’s focus shifted away from photorealism towards metaphysics, with images placed in porteic relationships to one another; describing his art as ‘echoing ecosystems’....

Article

Christopher Brookeman

(b Kewanee, IL, May 14, 1932).

American painter. He moved with his family to Chicago, where he studied at the Art Institute (1952–6), before going to New York, where most of his paintings are set (although later works were often finished in his house in Maine). His first one-man show was held at the Allan Stone Gallery, New York, in 1968. He sustained a careful commitment to an unvarying subject-matter, usually the built environment of Manhattan, and to Photorealism. His realism is deceptive in that he rearranges the structure of what he originally sees and records through photographs, which form the basis of the final easel-size paintings, to reconstruct reality. He also expands the viewer’s information and sensory field beyond the powers of the naked eye, giving a depth and intensity of vision that only artistic transformation can achieve. Since the paintings are based on more than one photograph, the viewer of an Estes painting perceives, for example, a shop-front window, with a richness that is created by the artist’s technical skills. We can see the surface of the window glass, what it is reflecting, and what is behind it. This characteristic effect is wittily achieved in his ...

Article

Style of painting popular in Europe and the USA mainly from the 1920s to 1940s, with some followers in the 1950s. It occupies a position between Surrealism and Photorealism, whereby the subject is rendered with a photographic naturalism, but where the use of flat tones, ambiguous perspectives, and strange juxtapositions suggest an imagined or dreamed reality. The term was introduced by art historian Frank Roh in his book Nach-Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus (1925) to describe a style deriving from Neue Sachlichkeit, but rooted in late 19th-century German Romantic fantasy. It had strong connections with the Italian Pittura Metafisica of which the work of Giorgio De Chirico was exemplary in its quest to express the mysterious. The work of Giuseppe Capogrossi and the Scuola Romana of the 1930s is also closely related to the visionary elements of Magic Realism. In Belgium its surreal strand was exemplified by René(-François-Ghislain) Magritte, with his ‘fantasies of the commonplace’, and in the USA by ...

Article

Icelandic-born American, 20th century, female.

Born 20 February 1917, in Reykjavík (Iceland); died 26 February 2000, in Delhi (New York).

Painter. figures, landscapes, animals, people.

New York School, Contemporary Realism.

Louisa Matthíasdóttir’s parents were very supportive of her painting and sent her to Copenhagen to study at the School of Commercial Art in 1934. Her parents brought Louisa to Paris in 1938 to study under Marcel Gromaire and to expose her to French artists such as Henri Matisse and other Fauvist painters. When she returned to Iceland, Matthíasdóttir became well-known throughout the Icelandic avant-garde art scene, which was a very small and close-knit circle. Her intention was to be in a more thriving arts environment, which prompted her to move to New York in 1942. She studied under Hans Hofmann at his Manhattan art school, which was a hotbed for the New York School artists. In New York City, she met painters Jane Freilicher, Robert De Niro Sr., Nell Blaine, Larry Rivers, and Leland Bell, among others. Matthíasdóttir and the aforementioned artists, along with others such as Philip Pearlstein, Alex Katz, Jane Wilson, and Lois Dodd, developed a style called Contemporary Realism that brought renewed relevance to representational painting. Matthíasdóttir was active in the formation of New York City’s shift from uptown to downtown and co-founded New York’s first co-operative gallery called Jane Street Gallery in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1941, in St Louis (Missouri).

Painter.

Moore is sometimes described as a Hyperrealist.

New York, 12 June 1991: Still-life with Red and Blue Corks 2 (1974, oil on canvas, 22 × 28 ins/55.9 × 71.1 cm) USD 1,650

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

American group of artists active in the 1950s and 1960s who were part of a movement that was reacting to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and conceptual art by choosing to represent traditional subjects of nudes, portraiture, still lifes, landscapes and urban street scenes that often were plain and ordinary. The rise of consumerism and mass production inspired New Realist artists who returned to representing subjects as everyday and common visual encounters and experiences. The New Realist movement is in contrast to earlier forms of realism practiced by European artists whose works embody idealism or romanticize the commonality of the subject. New Realism is also associated with the emergence of Photorealism, where the camera captured the momentary fleeting naturalism of the subject. A common approach characteristically unifying New Realist artworks is the notion of the presence of the subject, which is understood as the representation of a neutral peripheral visual experience that exposes the subject prior to its discovery as a cognitive translation, intellectual or emotional response. Paintings and drawings present the perception of the real in a direct, clear and straightforward way using conventional drawing and painting techniques, and classical compositional approaches. Subjects are acutely observed and revealed with precise attention to detail and technical draftsmanship to disclose the detached presence of the subject itself....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Kansas City.

Painter.

Tom Vincent's paintings are realist, and document certain aspects of American life. In this sense, he is similar to the Hyperrealists. Nevertheless, he uses simplifications, and he does not seem to seek out overelaborate details. Vincent exhibits mainly in New York and Paris....

Article

Kristina Wilson

(b Los Angeles, CA, Feb 28, 1977).

American painter. Wiley grew up in south central Los Angeles and at the age of 11 his mother began enrolling him in weekend art classes at area museums. He attributed his later focus on the genre of portraiture to his early exposure to portraits in the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, by Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds . He earned a bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, and then received an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2001. He subsequently became the artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. It was during this residency that Wiley developed the artistic program that would define his career for most of the next decade: large scale oil portraits of African American men wearing 21st century hip-hop-inflected attire (sweatshirts, down jackets, jeans, jewelry) in poses taken from old master paintings. Instead of a coherent narrative background, these figures stand against an abstract ground (a solid color or blue sky with billowing clouds) and are surrounded by ornate patterns (taken from a variety of sources) that swirl behind them and occasionally over their bodies. Wiley’s style is similar to that of the Photorealists of the 1970s, with its painstaking detail and lush, almost fetishistic attention to the folds of clothing and the glow of skin (...