press release

Shock of the Real: Photorealism Revisited December 16, 2008 - March 11, 2009 First in the nation to assemble a retrospective exhibition of this magnitude, the Boca Raton Museum of Art takes the everyday to abstraction. See something you thought was everyday, suddenly transform. Escape to the world of 5-foot pastries and 6-foot steaks. This exhibition will have you second guessing yourself at every turn, as the works challenge and refresh your vision of reality.

This major exhibition surveys photorealism over several decades, demonstrating the unique style, varied individual approaches, technical finesse, and expanse of subject matter through 71 dramatic works by 29 highly acclaimed artists. Photorealism is renowned for its stunning, painted renditions of everyday images recorded by a photograph. Photorealists create artworks in a highly photographic style, with added personal expression. Quintessentially American, many of the works in Shock of the Real focus on typical aspects of our urban and suburban landscapes: trucks, motorcycles, cars, and roadside eateries. Popularity of the movement is due to the exceptional technical skill of these artists, which allows viewers to explore the link between the photographic image and the artistic concept of painting.

Artists whose works are in the exhibition include: Linda Bacon, John Baeder, Robert Bechtle, Charles Bell, Tom Blackwell, Anthony Brunelli, Chuck Close, Davis Cone, Robert Cottingham, Randall Dudley, Don Eddy, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Stephen Fox, Ralph Goings, Robert Gniewek, Don Jacot, John Kacere, Ron Kleemann, Richard McLean, Kim Mendenhall, Jack Mendenhall, Malcolm Morley, David Parrish, R.E. Penner, John Salt, Ben Schonzeit, and Idelle Weber.

Works in Shock of The Real are on loan from private collections and the following institutions: Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; The Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana; Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens; Gerald Peters Gallery; Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York; Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York City; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama; National Academy of Design, New York City; O.K. Harris Gallery, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; The Seavest Collection; Tampa Museum of Art; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; and Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Shock of The Real has been guest-curated by Dr. Valerie Ann Leeds, a noted specialist in American art. The sponsorship of this exhibition Shock of the Real has been made possible by the generosity of Mrs. Beatrice Cummings Mayer.