Unreal Nature

March 15, 2016

Too Easy to Get, and Was Got Too Quickly

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:02 am

This is from Photrealism Since 1980 by Louis K. Meisel (1993):

… John Russell, reviewing one of the most popular, well-attended exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, begins by saying, “Looking at photorealist paintings is like eating horseflesh. If you can stand it, the case against it seems like dated prejudice. If you can’t stand it, nothing on earth will make you change your mind.” Later in the review, he accurately states, “No photorealist looks like any other photorealist.

by Ralph Goings

[line break added] Individual personality wins out, just as it does in every other kind of painting.” And he concludes with insights of a decidedly laudatory cast: “First, there is in certain photorealist paintings an emotional charge as frantic as anything in German Expressionism. Second, the idiom has possibilities that go way beyond its initial glassy illusionism. In Richard Estes’s Chase Manhattan Bank, 1981, the play back and forth between the interior of the building and the Dubuffet sculpture outside is neat enough for Canaletto.”

Adam Gopnik’s reviews of a recent Chuck Close show contains a sentence beginning with this ironic phrase: “Though Photo-Realism never had much of an art-world following — it was too easy to get, and was got too quickly by the wrong people.” But the sentence concludes with this: “It was in fact the first movement in American art that now seems vividly (rather than doggedly) postmodern.”

by Robert Cottingham




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