|Joshua Suda - Amalgamation - oil on panel|
For realist artists accustomed to working many long hours in the solitude of the studio, there was little to reinforce the idea that they were part of a larger community until the internet allowed these individuals to find each other. Universities, galleries, museums, and the media had given the impression that realism was passé, and that those artists who pursued it were unsophisticated, misguided, and headed down a lonely and thorny path. But the internet has shown itself to be a significant galvanizing force, bringing together the lovers and makers of representational art, and proving that realism has not lost its relevance in the contemporary, international art-world.
A new exhibit opening this week at Peter Walker Fine Art Gallery in Adelaide, South Australia, was born from the relationships made between artists on the internet. Curated by Australian painter Jim Thalassoudis, More Real than Real, features American and Canadian realist artists who might not have had the opportunity to exhibit together, let alone in Australia, had they not been introduced to each other and each other's work through the web.
Coinciding with the Adelaide Festival of Arts, the show will run from March 1st through the 17th. It is the fourth large venture generated by Cube Contemporary Art Projects, a non-traditional art gallery founded by Thalassoudis and fellow-artist Dianne Gall, which works with other display spaces to generate exhibitions "locally, nationally, and internationally."
The artists featured in the exhibit include:
TRAVIS MICHAEL BAILEY from Union, Missouri
MARINA DIEUL from Montreal, Quebec
JEFF GOLA from Moorestown, New Jersey
JASON JOHN from Jacksonville, Florida
TARA JUNEAU from Victoria, British Columbia
JONATHAN KOCH from USA
LACEY LEWIS from Kansas City, Missouri
STEPHEN MAGSIG from Detroit, Michigan
BRIAN MARTIN from Providence, Rhode Island
JENNIFER NEHRBASS from Albuquerque, New Mexico
GRAYDON PARRISH from Austin, Texas
LEE PRICE from Beacon, New York
CINDY PROCIOUS from Chattanooga, Tennessee
JONATHAN QUEEN from Cincinnati, Ohio
PIERRE RABY from Montreal, Quebec
KATHERINE STONE from Victoria, Canada
JOSHUA SUDA from Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
SADIE JERNIGAN VALERI from San Francisco, California
|Lee Price - Boston Cream - oil on canvas|
|Katherine Stone - Bottle Fly - oil on panel|
|Stephen Magsig - Greene St. Shadows - oil on panel|
|Jonathan Queen - The Secret - oil on panel|
|Marina Dieul - Chat II - oil on panel|
|Graydon Parrish - Susanna Looking to the Right - oil on panel|
|Jennifer Nehrbass - Typhoon Odessa - oil on canvas|
|Travis Michael Bailey - Autumn Contemplating Winter - charcoal and chalk on blue paper|
|Jason John - Hyperfocus - oil on panel|
|Pierre Raby - Three Late Guests - oil on panel|
From the Cube Contemporary Art Projects press release:
“Realism”, as in the painted 2-D illusion of the recognizable, is the most pervasive art form in the history of Western art. At various times it has come to the fore, at other times it has been obliterated. Over the ages, Realism has repeatedly resurfaced and become relevant to the prevailing culture.
In the last decade there has been a proliferation of “atelier” art schools teaching the skills, methods, and knowledge of the past. Coupled with the revival of the atelier is the use of the Internet, allowing literally thousands of like-minded painters to find each other, to form social collectives, to teach, to learn and to pass on information.
The value of the Internet to the recent revitalisation of realism cannot be understated. The high technology of speed and dissemination of information ironically also suits those whose normal pursuit is in the solitary life of the slowly made art: the artist who uses age-old skills with pigment on canvas to create beguiling illusions.
Artists working in one form of realism or another have flocked to social networking sites. They have joined art forums and Facebook, set up blogs and webcasts, uploaded videos on YouTube, even produced DVDs. Online video art magazines dedicated to realism have recently attracted a large following.
Why? The answer is so obvious that it's staring us in the face: social networking sites, from Facebook to art forums, allow the reproduction and reduction of images, particularly of realist paintings, in a way that still lets them retain much of their potent imagery.
The retention of the "wow factor" in realist painting on the Internet comes from knowing that what we are looking at ultimately is paint on canvas. How the recent resurgence of realism takes shape and how it fits within the Contemporary Art World will be very interesting to watch in the coming years. One thing is certain: the re-skilling and emergence of literally hundreds of new realist painters per year will certainly have some effect.
This exhibition is born of the Internet. The artists are decentralised, mostly located in the provinces and connected by social networking. Many of the artists in this exhibition are well known within the realism fraternity in Australia. Now, for the first time, their paintings are being seen here.
|Lacey Lewis - Lucky Deluxe - oil on canvas|