Fine Arts Museum News

Realism Exhibition

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

June 23, 2008

The New Reality: The Frontier of Realism in the 21st Century, an exhibition that compares contemporary Realism painting with its historical predecessors, will be on view at the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts from July 15 through November 16.

<b>Left:</b> <i>Girl with Pearl Earring</i>, Johannes Vermeer, 1665; <b>Right:</b> <i>Girl with Piercings</i>, Ellen Catherwood, 2006
Left: Girl with Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, 1665; Right: Girl with Piercings, Ellen Catherwood, 2006
The juried exhibition was organized by the International Guild of Realism, and the tour was developed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, Missouri.

Fifty-six artists are represented with 65 paintings from the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, Korea, Russia, France, Iceland, Romania, Norway, and Finland. The artists cited such predecessors as Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, Vermeer, Harnett, Constable, and Dali as starting points as they explored still life, landscape, figurative and trompe l'oeil painting.

Artists use the following rule of thumb for defining Realism: "If you can recognize a particular person, or identify a specific object or landscape view from a painting, it's Realism."

The arrival of photography in the mid-1800s forced artists to go beyond merely reproducing a likeness or scene. Movies, music videos and television have all changed the way we see action and the angle at which we view it. New art tools – from pre-mixed paints to computer-enchanced images – have also given today's artists new ways to express themselves. Working in a variety of media, the artists in The New Reality provide a snapshot of how Realism artists are approaching the art form today.
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