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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

Eduardo Serrano

(b Bogotá, Aug 12, 1941).

Colombian sculptor, collagist, and conceptual artist. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá from 1959 to 1965 and began at this time to make collages influenced by Pop art. In 1966 he made the first of his Boxes, painted in strong flat colors, often red or yellow, to which he affixed industrial elements such as telephone handsets. Soon afterwards he began to make only white boxes, using the color to complement the mystery of the objects they contained, such as the heads, arms, and legs of dolls, machine parts, wooden eggs, and domestic objects; the penetrating humor and arbitrariness with which he juxtaposed such things recalled the spirit of Dada.

In the 1970s Salcedo became involved for a time with conceptual art in mordantly critical and irreverent works, such as The National Coat of Arms (1973; Bogotá, Mus. A. Mod.). He subsequently returned, however, to sculptural objects, bringing together two or more previously unconnected elements into an unsuspected poetic unity when assembled. These in turn gave way to works concerned with the representation of water, for example a group of saw-blades aligned in wavelike patterns or rectangles of glass arranged to resemble rain. Some of these included human figures, bringing to bear a sense of solitude and anxiety that added to their poetry and suggestiveness....

Article

Martin Heller

(b Basle, May 16, 1945).

Swiss painter, conceptual artist and installation artist. After training as a photographer he had his first successes exhibiting works on panels derived from Pop art (1967–9). These were followed by further conceptual works and installations. In 1969 he had his first one-man show at the Galerie Toni Gerber, Berne, and made important contributions to the exhibitions When Attitudes Become Form, held in 1969 at the Kunsthalle, Berne, and Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, in 1972. In 1971 he began to paint while continuing to produce three-dimensional objects (e.g. Amore; see 1986 exh. cat.). In these early works his affinity with popular and dilettante aesthetics, kitsch, trivia, and ‘do-it-yourself’ bricolage is evident. As a summation of such interests, in 1976–8 he created Apocalypso, an enormous picture on fabric that he considered a kind of ‘world view’. In the 1980s Schnyder systematically expanded and intensified his knowledge of painting and revived such traditional genres as animal painting and, particularly, landscape painting. Several small-scale series (e.g. ...