Dean, "Modernism, Postmodernism and the Return of Realism," Real(ist)
Women, Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida,
January 10 - February 26, 1997, introductory essay to the catalogue.
Nochlin, "Realism Now," Super Realism: A Critical Anthology, ed.
Gregory Battcock (New York: Dutton, 1975) 111 ff. Nochlin's essay was reprinted
from Art News, January 1971.
Jung, Man and His Symbols (New York, Dell, 1968); Mircea Eliade,
The Myth of the Eternal Return (New York, Bollingen-Pantheon, 1954).
some good anthologies and handbooks on the language and literature of art
see, Moshe Barasch, Theories of Art from Plato to Winklemann (New
York: New York University Press, 1985); Erwin Panofsky, Idea: A Concept
in Art Theory, transl. Joseph S. Peake (Columbia: U of S. Carolina Press,
1968); Anthony Blunt, Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1600 (Oxford
and New York: Oxford U Press, 1983); J.J. Pollitt, The Ancient View of
Greek Art (London and New Haven, Yale U Press, 1974); David Summers,
Michelangelo and the Language of Art (Princeton, NJ:Princeton U Press,
K. Meisel listed a number of characteristics, besides use of the camera,
that qualified an artist to be identified as a Photorealist. For the interest
of the reader, I include the other others that he lists: that mechanical
or semi-mechanical means were part of the artist's transfer technique; that
an artist exhibited work as a Photorealist by 1972 to be considered central
to the group; and, that artists devoted at least five years to the development
and exhibition of Photorealist work. Louis K. Meisel, Photorealism
(New York: Abrams, 1980) 13.
too had created a display to be viewed through a pin hole in a box. Leon
Battista Alberti: On Painting, trans. John R. Spenser (New Haven and
London: Yale University Press, 1966) 50-1, 105-6 fn. 27.
camera obscura focuses rays of light through an aperture into a darkened
box or room, resulting in the projection of an image directly onto an opposite
wall or surface. A good, clear and concise discussion of the history of
perspective, optics and the camera obscura is given by Arthur Wheelock,
Jan Vermeer (New York: Abrams, 1988) 26-37.
On the impact
of photography on the Impressionists, for one, see Pierre Schneider, The
World of Manet (New York and Canada: Time, Inc., 1968) 98 ff. Among
his insightful comments are the following.
"Perhaps what photography contributed most to painting
was an enlarged vocabulary of seeing. Dramatic perspectives such as that
of the Paris Blvd... ; bold compressions of depth between figures in a
scene and between figures and the background; the blurring or freezing
of action; and the brutal and often arbitrary cutting off of a figure
or an object by the edge of a photograph. But most important of all of
this new understanding of the visual world was the sense of the instantaneous,
of the fleeting impression of reality frozen for all time. It was this,
above all, that would become the chief preoccupation of the Impressionist
painters and endure as a quality of much of Modern art. These new approaches
to picture making, so different from the formulas of well ordered, well
balanced, timeless compositions of much academic painting, might have
come forth from artists working independently. But certainly photography
speeded up the discovery, acting as a kind of catalyst.
In the end,
far from causing the death of painting, as some feared photography would,
or forcing painting to depict "reality", which it thought photography
could do much better, the craft of the camera evolved its own artists
and its own aesthetics. And in the process, it revitalized painting, forcing
redefinitions of old concepts, urging new perceptions of the world and
creating a huge, new audience that took pleasure in seeing."
of the most distinguished of the Contemporary American Realists, Gregory
Gillespie, may, for example, use xeroxes in the technical execution of paintings.
He produces hand drawn images taken from his mindŐs eye, which he then xeroxes,
and reverse xeroxes. These xeroxes will sometimes be incorporated directly
into the pictorial surface, managed and mingled with the paint layers.
Wheeler, Art Since Mid-Century: 1945 to the Present (New York: The
Vendome Press, 1991) 207.
lively source of information, and a good reminder of first critical responses
to the new realism is the anthology of essays collected in Battcock, ed.,
ed., Super Realism, xxvi - xxix.