The Realist Impulse

Various Artists

Miguel Angel Avila | Les Christensen | Mark Cervenka | John Hartley | Adam Lowenbein | Mario Muller | Cheyanne Ramos-Forray | John Salvest

Realism has been called the definition-hydra of art history, constantly spawning new stylistic versions, ranging from hyper realistic naturalism to romantic-metaphysical idealism. Realism’s utter diversity has been maddeningly difficult to unify and define. Its basic common criterion may just be defined as the priority of the image rendered in a ”realistic” style. Ultimately, these diverse positions of Realist imagery are just expressions of the artist’s inner vision. “We painted from the Outside in” exclaimed a “New Objective” painter in the 30s. All Realist manifestos follow Paul Klee’s advice: Do not paint the visible world, make it visible. Beyond the “retinal imprint” of the observed reality lies the realm of the psyche that interprets and twists the images to fit the subjective experience of the artist.