Realism Redivivus And Universal

If the moment when art became decisively “modern” occurred when Kandinsky, who “had known only realist art,” as he wrote, saw “The Haystack of Claude Monet…and didn’t recognize it,” finally concluding “objects were discredited as an essential element within the picture,”1 then that moment has become passé. And, retrospectively, peculiarly misguided, however historically necessary it seems to have... More »

Still Life: An Invitational Group Exhibition

For “Still Life: An Invitational Group Exhibition,” John Pence Gallery presents the work of over two dozen contemporary realists. The results are, for the most part, fresh and engaging. As a genre, the still life seems to offer subjects that are easy to control—in contrast to portraits, which entail negotiations between artist and model, or landscapes, which refuse to sit still, because nature is... More »

Gothic to Goth

“Gothic to Goth”: Romantic Era Fashion and Its Legacy,” at the Wadsworth Atheneum looked at the lingering influences of the dominant imaginative mode of the nineteenth century through the specific lens of costume. The exhibition includes several paintings—including Frederic Church’s Niagara Falls (1856) and two by Thomas Cole, The Present and The Past (both 1838), featuring medieval-style castles... More »

The Light of Southern Italy: Paintings from the 19th-Century Neapolitan School”

“The Light of Southern Italy: Paintings from the 19th-Century Neapolitan School,” which was on view at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York from October 5 to November 5, 2015, explored the works of a too-often-neglected group of painters, who captured the beauty of Abruzzo, Puglia, Molise, Calabria and Sicily.Among the many talented artists represented was Giuseppe Laezza (1835–1905), a... More »

Still Life

"Still Life,” a group show (November 5–28, 2015) at Galley Henoch in New York City, acknowledged the perennial popularity of the genre, while probing the aesthetic possibilities being explored by some first-rate contemporary realists. The veteran painter Daniel Greene (b. 1934), best known for his portraits and subway-platform depictions, was represented by Antique Sewing Machine and Moire (2013... More »

Romantic Art, 1760-1860

“The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860,” at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut, frames the Romantic break from Enlightenment order, balance and restraint not as a simple repudiation of reason and science, but as a bold expansion of human curiosity into wilder nature, darker fantasies and more daring social, political and spiritual experiments. The Augustan poet... More »

The Representational Art Conference (TRAC) 2015

Readers of American Arts Quarterly are invited to attend The Representational Art Conference (TRAC2015), scheduled for November 1–4, 2015. This event, to be held in a hotel facing the Pacific Ocean in Ventura Beach, California, will once again be organized by an energetic team at California Lutheran University, led by studio art faculty members Michael Pearce and Michael Lynn Adams. This duo... More »

Women Artists

“Celebrating Women Artists,” at Arcadia Contemporary in New York City this spring (April 23–May 20, 2015), presented a half-dozen intriguing talents, three from the United States and one each from Canada, Argentina and Australia. All could be loosely defined as figurative, but they exhibit considerable range in mediums and style. Imagination trumps realism.The Australian painter Dianne Gall... More »

William Beckman

It is a rare event for a living artist to have a retrospective show at an American art museum: rarer still if he is a realist. “William Beckman: Drawings, 1967–2013,” first hosted by Georgia’s Columbus Museum and now at the Arkansas Arts Center, provides an in-depth look at nearly a half-century of the devel­opment of Beckman’s visual language of drawing. Works included range from his delicate... More »

Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery

Stellar artworks become like old friends in the baronial intimacy of the Frick Collection in New York City. In recent years, a series of carefully selected loan shows have widened the circle of acquaintance for the Frick’s appreciative visitors. The latest of these exhibitions is “Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery.” While the ten paintings on display would merit attention in any... More »