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Reconsidering American Photorealism of the 1970s

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2018, (44), pp.7-37
  • DOI : 10.17057/kahoma.2018..44.001
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : October 12, 2018
  • Accepted : November 23, 2018
  • Published : December 31, 2018

Chaeki Freya Synn 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, an extremely realistic paintings resembling photographs emerged. The trend was called with various names, including Photorealism, which eventually became one of the most widely used. Despite its fast growing popularity among the collectors and the general public, the art critics dismissed Photorealism as paintings inhabited by a singular lack of meaningful content. The paintings were considered to be mindless copy of the mechanical eye, transparent in its meaning, not leaving much to be discussed. Such misunderstanding served as a stumbling block in furthering art historical scholarship not only during the time, but also in the following years. This paper intends to bring back the issues to reexamine and analyze the Photo-realist paintings. The paper will argue against the widespread misconceptions to prove the artistic intent and the political content embedded in the works. By situating Photorealism in the context of the 1970s American art world, the paper intends to discuss how Photorealism was not considered to be the best option to represent America at the time.

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