Kunsthal Rotterdam presents an extensive exhibition on realist art. Over one hundred and fifty paintings, sculptures, photographs and video works shed light on the wealth and diversity of realist art from 1850 up to now. The impressive survey contains work by numerous internationally renowned artists like Jean-François Millet, Walker Evans, Edward Hopper, Richard Estes, Duane Hanson and Thomas Ruff. On top of that, the work of a number of leading Dutch artists is presented, amongst whom Carel Willink, Rineke Dijkstra, Jan Worst and Aernout Mik. The exhibition is created in close cooperation with Kunsthalle Emden and the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung in München.
On canvas, in photographs or in video projections: over the past hundred and fifty years artists represented reality in a variety of ways using divers media. The exhibition in the Kunsthal shows this versatility: from the lifelike figures of sculptor John DeAndrea to the detailed landscapes of photographer Michael Reisch. Works by important representatives of international realist art movements like The New Objectivity, Magic Realism and Hyperrealism are brought together. The exhibition offers a surprising survey of realist art, in which still life's, portraits and landscapes are grouped together. Wonderful and interesting combinations are made between works. The powerful women's portraits by Christian Schad from the Interbellum are seen together with the very detailed realistic photo portraits by Thomas Ruff from the eighties. A still life by magic realist Franz Radziwill is hung close to an assemblage by Daniel Spoerri from 1961.
Diversity and Connections
The exhibition puts realist art in a new perspective. It shows us the fact that, behind the technical refinement and virtuosity of realist art, the artist often wants to bring a social message about. This underlying layer of realist art binds together artists of different periods in realism, despite the immense diversity of subjects and chosen media. The sculpture entitled Two Workers created by American sculptor Duane Hanson in 1993, has a thematical link with August Sander's photographs of street workers which were taken more than sixty years earlier. And Hanson's social criticism can also be witnessed in paintings by social realists like Eugène Buland or Jean-François Millet from the nineteenth century. By pointing out the connections between artists from different periods in realism the exhibition is a true ‘Adventure of Reality'.