Still Life: 1970s Photorealism - The 1970s are Reborn at the Currier Museum of Art

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Still Life: 1970s Photorealism, on view at the Currier Museum of Art from January 24 through May 3, 2015, takes the guest back to a world filled with muscle cars, endless highways, diners, 1970s cityscapes and more.

Imagine paintings that look so real that the viewer feels as if they can walk into the canvas and back in time, or sculptures so lifelike that one would want to reach out and become part of the scene. Still Life: 1970s Photorealism, opens at Manchester's Currier Museum of Art on January 24 and runs through May 3, 2015, takes the viewer back to a world filled with muscle cars, endless highways, diners, 1970s cityscapes and more. To those who lived through the 1960s and 1970s, these images will seem intensely familiar. The artworks that will be on view in this exhibition reflect a passion for hyperrealism and provide today’s audiences with an unflinching journey back in time to life 40 years ago.

“People are immediately drawn to these works of art,” said Kurt Sundstrom, Currier curator. “Most baby boomers will view this show nostalgically but everyone will appreciate each artist’s precision in creating these seemingly real scenes. The bottom line is that one can’t help but be fascinated when looking at this exhibition.”

In the 1970s, a loosely-knit group of primarily American artists including Richard Estes, Duane Hanson, Tom Blackwell and Audrey Flack decided that art should accurately reflect the world around us. Photorealists took photographs of commonplace scenes, some not even in sharp focus, and precisely revisited those captured worlds in monumental paintings and sculptures. Viewed from a distance, these works faithfully capture a scene, but as with impressionistic paintings, when viewed up close, the artist’s brushstrokes become easily visible. As with the Currier’s recent M.C. Escher exhibition, the deeper one looks at these works of art, the more dazzled one will be by the artists’ skills.

Still Life: 1970s Photorealism was organized by the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Conn. and has been on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, N.Y. It will include 37 works from the Yale collection and an additional six from the Currier. The Boston Globe, in its review of the Yale exhibition, called it, “thought provoking,” emphasizing the fascinating “tension between the there-and-then of photography and the here-and-now of painting.”

Exhibition Support
Still Life: 1970s Photorealism. Exhibition organized by the Yale University Art Gallery. Made possible by the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund.

The Currier's presentation of Still Life: 1970s Photorealism is sponsored by Hitchiner Manufacturing Company, the Botnick Family Foundation, M. Christine Dwyer & Michael Huxtable and Dorothea & David Jensen.

The Currier Museum of Art, located at 150 Ash Street, Manchester, N.H., is open every day except Tuesday. It is home to an internationally respected collection of European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and O'Keeffe. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the engaging exhibitions, the dynamic programs ranging from art-making and lectures to music, a Museum Shop, and an airy, light-filled café. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Museum. The Currier welcomes visitors with disabilities and special needs. The museum is wheelchair accessible and offer FM headsets for sound amplification at many public programs. For more information, visit http://www.currier.org or call 603.669.6144, x108.

The Currier Art Center offers studio classes, art camps, Master classes and intensive workshops for all ages. The Museum also owns the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, complete with the original furnishings and the owners' fine art collection. http://www.currier.org

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Steve Konick
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