Harvard Art Museum Crossing Lines - Sep 5 - Jan 5

How Do You Define Realism?

  • BEVERLY HILLS, California
  • /
  • May 31, 2019

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Stanislaus Poray "Portrait of Philip G. Bentz, Jr." 1938 Signed and dated “Stan Pociecha Poray 1938” lower right Oil on canvas 48.5 x 45.25 inches Exhibition Label: California Commission for the Golden Gate International Exhibition, San Francisco, CA, ca. 1939 Note: Housed in Artist’s hand-carved frame

Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts announces its grand opening of “How Do You Define Realism” to be held on June 22, 2019, 5pm to 8pm.  The public is welcome. The Gallery is located at 9200 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

How Do You Define Realism?

Broadly defined as "the representation of reality," Realism in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, as well as implausible, exotic and supernatural elements. The picturing in art of people and things as they really appear to be, without idealizing.

But is Realism subjective? Can you see a work of art as "realistic" and someone else view the same artwork as artificial or using artifice?

We take the view that Realism is subjective; Realism is what the eye of the beholder sees and everyone's eye is different. We proffer art in a variety of media and try to present Realism in many forms to compel each viewer to contemplate their idiosyncratic view of Realism. Is there one correct answer? Is there only one definition of Realism? How do you define Realism?

In philosophy, the applicable doctrine says that material objects exist in themselves, apart from the mind's consciousness of them. But every mind perceives objects and people differently. We open up the definition of Realism to each viewer's conception of reality and ask you to use your own eye to define Realism.

In this exhibition we present figurative art, portraits, still lifes, landscapes and other subjects to test your definition of Realism. Then we introduce Magic Realism, the juxtaposition of unlike objects and the sometimes unusual, not quite "normal," positioning of those objects. And finally we pose as realistic the Surreal - sometimes as incongruous imagery, sometimes as an extension of Realism. Does your eye view as Realistic the Surreal?

We encourage discussion, differing opinions of the Realistic and, amid it all, each viewer's own idiosyncratic interpretation of Realism.

Artists include: Mabel Alvarez, Victor Arnautoff, Claude Buck, Leslie Buck, Thomas Flavell, Helen Forbes, Robert Gilbert,Mac Harshberger, Marion Hebert, Isabel Hunter, Gordena Jackson, Betty Lane, Herman Lauter, Norwood MacGilvary, John Mottram, Jose Moya del Pino, Helen Clark Oldfield, Otis Oldfield, Otis Oldfield, Warren Newcombe, Stan Poray, Edna Reindel, Bonnie Beach Ryan, Nina Saemundsson, Jacques Schnier, Hazel Scheckler, Ralph Stackpole, Jean Swiggett, Torajiro Watanabe, Edward Weston, Stanton Macdonald Wright, and others.

For more information:

Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts

9200 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 200

Beverly Hills, CA 90212

(310) 273-8838


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