In 2011 we brought our first Realism exhibition to the artdc gallery. The show was successful, and we decided to repeat the experience with new works. We are pleased to bring to the gallery Realism and more from Washington, DC area contemporary artists. These artists work hard and have studied to develop great skill in creating realistically recognizable elements of their work. These works move beyond manipulating the surface and work to trick the eye bringing realism out of the two dimensional world.
The reception will be held April 28th, 2012.
This exhibit surveys the broad range of various “realisms”. Used as a broad term to mean recognizable realities, “Realism” is a vehicle for various expressions; political, aesthetic, emotional and illusory. This exhibition brings together these forms in one show.
Olivia Rodriguez and Patrick Kirwin both deal in illusion. Between them, both ends of the aesthetic spectum are represented. Rodriguez creates small sculptural illusions of garbage while Kirwin paints attractive Trompe L’oeil illusions. Rodriguez takies found objects and recreates and creates tableaus of filth – a cigarette put out in a pile of dirt and a cockroach crawling out from under a cup. She elicits the viewer’s psychological responses with confrontation of things we would rather forget about.
Kirwin’s illusions are essentially about material verisimilitude, but also probe the illusion of space. He is represented with illusions of mosaics, marble and a large plaster face, which is cropped in such a way as to negate an illusion. His is about the joy of being fooled, yet the remaining illusions are beautiful.
Johanna Rodriguez presents some of her work from a series about doors. She shares her views them, enlarging small details and painting them in a somewhat expressionistic fashion using house paint. There is something eerie about these images from the color, the feeling of the paint and the expressionistic rendering.
Simmy Pell on the other hand, shows paintings about painting. Hers are joyful explorations into the “regular” still life genre. Her twist is that she uses minimal medium, resulting in a thicker application of oil paint. The sensuous and generous application of paint is enhanced with a thoughtful resolution of color.
Rachel Kerwin brings a political message to the show. Her paintings of weeping, mourning Iraqi women no less than ask us, “Why?” The message is very clear as expressed through the vigorous and efficient realistic painting of the women’s faces and hands. The flesh is the only living thing in the paintings. Their garb is flat black and to further focus the point, there is nothing else except a flat green of death coloring the background.
This is a very interesting survey of how realism works to different ends. Not to be missed.