Harwood Museum

of the University of New Mexico

Taos, NM


Harwood Facade, photo by John Rudiak, 1998


Realism, PhotoRealism, SuperRealism


This exhibition of 29 works by 19 different artists includes paintings and sculpture by artists from San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York as well as New Mexico. The exhibition showcases works from the early 1970's by Jack Mendenhall and Paul Sarkisian up to recent paintings and drawings by Mary Neumuth, Rebecca Jo Morales, and Gendron Jensen.

The exhibition contains drawings, prints, paintings and 3-dimensional works by artists Tim Prythero, Richard Shaw and Colette Hosmer. Included in the exhibition are five artists from Taos: Bill Acheff, recently featured in Southwest Art Magazine, is nationally recognized for his still lifes; Mical Aloni, creates special embroidery still lifes; Claudia Kleefeld and Jack Smith, represented by paintings of the figure; and a low-relief wall piece by John Tuccillo. (left: John Tuccillo, Grateful, 1998, acrylic/fiberboard, styrofoam, 70 x 129 x 3 inches [left third of work is in exhibition])

Internationally known artists, Vija Celmins and Ed Ruscha, are represented with prints. New Mexico artists John Rise, Woody Gwyn and "an anonymous artist, late 20th c." are shown along with California artist David Hines, who is represented by a unique night landscape.

Much of the premise for the Modern Art movement at the beginning of the 20th Century was based on the reality of the two-dimensional surface of the artist's canvas. Yet, at the end of the century, it is interesting to observe that many artists have continued to explore 3-dimensional illusionism often in non-traditional ways.

Harwood Museum Director, Robert Ellis, who curated the exhibition writes, "As late in the century as the mid-1960's artists were reluctant to admit to using photography as a source for their paintings. When Van Deren Coke's ground breaking book, The Painter and The Photograph, was first published in 1964, many artists threatened to sue the author if he published the photographs from which they had painted. However, by the late 1960's and early 1970's a new group of artists including Jack Mendenhall, part of the San Francisco group of photorealists, openly painted from photographs even reproducing the blurred focus of the camera lens. A 1971 painting entitled The Divorcee's Apartment in Adam's Point by Mendenhall, on loan from the University of New Mexico Art Museum, will anchor the exhibition. Other artists continue to follow the realist and superrealist tradition. In a recent article for American Arts magazine, David Hockney, the internationally known British artist, after discussing the current technology available to alter photography and TV, stated that 'both the photograph and reality itself are being called into question . .. but what the hand, the eye, and the heart can do and paint - can never be replaced.'"

Realism, PhotoRealism, SuperRealism continues in the Peter and Madeleine Martin Gallery at the Harwood Museum from August 1 through October 10, 1999.

Read more about the Harwood Museum in the Resource Library Magazine

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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