Displays of violent weather conditions, electrical storms, tornados, floods, fires, and other eruptions are contrasted and equated with equally awe-inspiring images of technology that harnesses or mimics nature. Pitting the specter of nature against technology in time-lapsed images, this stirring video paints a portrait of the encounter between the constructed and the natural, between human control of power and that which eludes man’s control.
Since the invention of photography in the mid-19th century, artists have used photographs as both a tool and an inspiration for their work; but the Photorealists were the first to translate information from one medium to another unapologetically. In a period where abstraction was dominating the art world, these artists presented viewers with the most commonplace subject matter that mimicked the most popular type of image—the photograph.
Some artists elaborated on the hyperreal elements of a photograph by enhancing every detail, while others faithfully re-created the blurring that occurs in photographs with a shallow depth of field. Still others experimented with cropping to create paintings that were reminiscent of snapshots. This exhibition brings together key works from public and private collections in a broad survey of this movement. It features paintings dating from the late 20th century to the present, illuminating the very definition of Photorealism from its beginning up to
today. A catalogue accompanies this exhibition.
This exhibition was organized by the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York.
The exhibition, From Lens to Eye to Hand: Photorealism 1969 to Today, is made possible, in part, by the generous leadership support of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel, Barbara Slifka, Linda Hackett and Melinda Hackett/ CAL Foundation, Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder, Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, and Arlene Kaufman and Sanford Baklor. Public Funding provided by Suffolk County.
From Lens to Eye to Hand: Photorealism 1969 to Today
by Terrie Sultan
(paperback; 128 pages; $39.95)
This generously illustrated book examines Photorealism in contemporary art from its roots in the late 1960s to today. Photorealism reintroduced straightforward representation into an art world dominated by Pop Art, Minimalism, Land Art, and Performance Art. Often misunderstood as being overtly traditional, artists at the vanguard of this important movement were trailblazers. Use of the camera as the foundation of painterly expression is common today, but in the 1970s Photorealists were embarking on a groundbreaking way of seeing and depicting the world. Drawing on major public and private collections, the book features works by the masters of Photorealism. Along with numerous illustrations, the book also includes an introductory essay by noted artist and writer Richard Kalina, and an in-depth essay by Terrie Sutlan, focusing on photorealistic watercolors and works on paper.
Robert Bechtle, American, born 1932. '73 Malibu, 1974. Oil on canvas. 48 × 69 inches (121.9 × 175.3 cm). Meisel Family Collections, New York
Audrey Flack, American, born 1931. Wheel of Fortune, 1977–1978. Acrylic and oil on canvas. 96 × 96 inches (243.8 × 243.8 cm). Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York. Gift of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel, 2016.20
Ralph Goings, American, born 1928. Miss Albany Diner, 1993. Oil on canvas. 48 × 72 inches (121.9 × 182.9 cm). Heiskell Family Collection
Richard McLean, American, born 1934. Western Tableau with Rhodesian Ridgeback (Trails West), 1993. Oil on linen. 48 × 70 inches (121.9 × 177.8 cm). Meisel Family Collections, New York
John Salt, English, born 1937. Albuquerque Wreck Yard (Sandia Auto Electric), 1972. Oil on canvas. 48 × 72 inches (121.9 × 182.9 cm). Meisel Family Collections, New York
Be sure not to miss this exhibition of works by master printmaker Peter Milton. While Milton began his career as a painter, he turned to etching and engraving in the 1960s. Testing positive for color deficiency in 1962 also influenced his decision to work exclusively in black and white. According to the artist, “I relish drawing and the craft of engraving, and […] everything […]—dramatis personae, details, architecture—is drawn by hand. During the first, planning phase of the image, I construct an initial collage, and I do find a photocopier useful at that point for enlarging and reducing elements. But in the next phase I modify and change these elements quite intentionally in a drawing which serves as the basis for the finished print.”
In Search of Lost Time is the title of a 2006 print by Milton, which comes from an English translation of French author Marcel Proust’s monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu, published between 1913 and 1927. As the title of the exhibition, it fittingly alludes to the enigmatic and fantastical narratives for which Milton is known in his elaborately detailed, large-scale etchings. Combining the real and surreal, Milton places photographic rendering of figures amidst soft-focused, ethereal atmospheres that seem like a dream.
The FIA’s new Harris – Burger Gallery is an ideal venue for Breaking with Tradition, as the exhibition both reflects the passion of the collectors after which the gallery was named and continues the museum’s long history with contemporary ceramics. Dr. Robert and Deanna “Debbie” Harris Burger began giving selected works from their extensive collection of contemporary ceramics in 2005, and since that time, have donated more than 200 works. This gift served as a catalyst for the addition of the Contemporary Craft Wing. Debbie Burger credits her fascination with art to taking classes as a child at the FIA’s previous location on West First Street.
In 1930, just two years after the FIA began as an Art School, J. Emmet Shultz, a ceramic modeler at the AC Spark Plug Tile Company, introduced a clay modeling class. In addition, several FIA Art School instructors worked at the Flint Faience and Tile Company. Clay classes have operated without interruption in the Art School, attracting a loyal following of ceramic students. In 1978, students formed the Clay Club, a group organized to support clay classes and the purchase of books and equipment, which remains in operation today. The FIA continues to collect ceramics, and this exhibition features works by artists bending the rules and subverting ideas about traditional ceramics, whether through use of unconventional subject matter, experimental treatment of materials, or as a means of individual expression.
Small Worlds offers a glimpse into the history of glass paperweights. These small objects, first manufactured in the mid-19th century, combined functionality with beauty. Lasting only 25 years, the classical period of paperweight manufacture declined until the mid-20th century when revived interest spawned a new generation of artists. This exhibition highlights paperweights from the classical period through present day and includes numerous works by the patriarchs of the contemporary paperweight movement, Paul Stankard and Rick Ayotte.
Paul Stankard is recognized internationally as a living master in the art of the paper-weight. He worked in the scientific glass-blowing industry from 1963 to 1972, but a fascination with antique French paperweights prompted him to become a glass artist. He works on a minuscule scale, crafting tiny, anatomically correct flowers, bees, nuts, moss, and human bodies that are suspended in clear glass.
After graduating high school in 1962, Rick Ayotte began a 10-year career as a scientific glassblower, working alongside Paul Stankard at the Macalaster Scientific Corporation in Delaware. Stankard, who had already begun his career as a paperweight artist, encouraged Ayotte’s talent. For Ayotte, “there was something pleasing and intimate about the spherical shape of paperweights that really appealed to me. It opened a lot of doors for me artistically.” His artwork primarily explores the flora and fauna of the natural world.
Paperweights: Highlights from the Flint Institute of Arts Collection
(hardcover; 248 pages; $24.95)
This exhibition catalog features more than 140 weights from the Classic Period (1845–1860) of French manufacturers Baccarat, Clichy, and Saint-Louis, to works by contemporary artists Josh Simpson and Debbie Tarsitano, from the collections of Mrs. Viola E. Bray and Mrs. Genevieve Shaw. Kathryn Sharbaugh, FIA Director of Development, serves as guest curator to research and write about the history of paperweights, as well as highlight their various styles, techniques, and categories. This book is published in conjunction with the exhibition Small Worlds, which presents a survey of glass paperweights from the 19th century to the present. Support for the catalogue provided by the Bray Charitable Trust.
Rick Ayotte, American, b. 1944. Terror in the Treetops, 1999. Glass. 3 x 3 3/4 inches. Collection of Gordon Park.
Paul Stankard, American, b. 1943, Rose Bouquet with James Joyce in a Potato Orb, 2007. Glass, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. Private collection
Clichy, French. Concentric millefiori, pink and white Clichy rose canes, in pink and white stave basket, 19th century. Glass. 1 11/16 x 2 7/16 inches. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, FIA 1969.75.48
Baccarat, French, founded 1764. Snake on Rocky Ground, ca. 1850. Glass. Diameter 2 7/8 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Jill Ford Murray Irrevocable Trust in memory of her parents, Carlotta Espy Ford and George Ross Ford, Jr., and her grandparents, Grace Miller Ford and George Ross Ford, 2013.20
Debbie Tarsitano, American, b. 1955. Birthday Paperweight in Development, 1981. Glass. Diameter 3 1/8 inches. Gift of Genevieve and Richard Shaw, 2008.215