A New Realism

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  • It's time to get real.

    A New Realism presents nine practitioners whose work meets the present head-on, direct and immediate. They are "realists" in at least two senses: first, in a diverse art historical context; and second, as individualistic pragmatists.

    We are interested in the range of historic resonances that the concept of 'realism' has for contemporary practice. In some cases, it is a form of social engagement - a position that can be traced all the way back to the "realism" of mid-19th century French painting (artists like Courbet), but has important connections to the polyphonic voices of contemporary activism. Realism can also be expressed in a less politicized way, through material indexicality that recalls the work of Rauschenberg; or by exploring the overlaps and divergences between representation and abstraction as means of responding to the real, with a sophistication that recalls historic African sculpture, or constructed textiles.

    Artists include: Tanya Aguiniga, Ferreol Babin, Ebitenyefa Baralaye, Paul S. Briggs, Terri Friedman, Carl Emil Jacobsen, Fernando Laposse, Mattias Sellden, Thaddeus Wolfe.

    - Glenn Adamson

  • Images: Friedman Benda