Artists

Thomas Kegler

Thomas Kegler, who made his solo exhibition debut at John Pence Gallery in San Francisco this summer (June 10–July 9, 2011), approaches nature with the devotion of a Hudson River School painter. Kegler, a native of western New York State, attempts to recapture both the techniques and the sensibility of the nineteenth-century American...

Strange Nature: Arcimboldo and Bryan Drury

The relationship between humans and the natural world is complex. One strand of this history stretches from primeval Eden and the pastoral idyll through Romanticism and modern ecology. But the dangers and oddities of interspecies interaction have also received their fair share of attention, in, for example, evolutionary ideas such as...

Steven Assael

The contemporary realism revival, first spotlighted in a few discriminating galleries, has been finding new audiences through museum surveys and retrospectives. “Steven Assael: Illusions of Reality,” at the Naples Museum of Art in Florida, offers a substantial selection of work by this remarkable painter, who...

Jacob Pfeiffer

Jacob Pfeiffer is a meticulous craftsman with a cheeky sense of humor. An exhibition of his recent trompe l’oeil paintings, at Meyer East Gallery in Santa Fe, was rife with visual puns, and he remarks that he wants “to offer the viewer a respite from the serious times that we live in.” This premise is illustrated, on...

Sabin Howard, Javier Marín

“Re-Presenting the Nude,” on view during July at Evoke Contemporary in Santa Fe, offered a lively overview of realist approaches to a perennial genre. The exhibition, curated by John O’Hern, included sculpture and drawings as well as paintings. O’Hern emphasized the content always implicit in the figure: “The body...

Vincent Giarrano

“New York Scenes,” Vincent Giarrano’s show at Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison, Connecticut (May 7–June 13), offered agreeable evidence of the continuing vigor of the artist-flâneur tradition. In this series of recent oil paintings, Giarrano focuses on a fairly narrow swath of the urban experience, observing women moving around the...

Brad Reuben Kunkle

Over the centuries and across cultures, gold grounds have been used to suggest what W.B. Yeats called “the artifice of eternity.” Shimmering surfaces evoke otherworldly environments: paradisal backdrops in Byzantine mosaics, the hagiographic heaven of medieval painters, the stylized natural world of Japanese screens, the jeweled...

George Billis Gallery

A recent show (April 17–May 29, 2010) at George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles juxtaposed three very different contemporary realists, demonstrating once again that monolithic definitions of this complex movement are largely unrewarding. The most interesting work on display was by Jorge Santos, a technically accomplished figure painter...

Christopher Stott

Christopher Stott, whose paintings were on view this summer at Elliot Fouts Gallery in Sacramento, sets up his still lifes in a clean, well-lighted place. There are artists who favor earthy textures and the massing of objects. Chardin made something sublime out of the interlocking dynamic of kitchen clutter. Stott likes to isolate a...

Sam Wisneki, Jacob Collins, Carl Dobsky, Edward Minoff

“The Human Figure,” an invitational group show at John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, builds on the solid foundation of the now well-established contemporary realism revival. The majority of the thirty-five artists represented are working, with varying degrees of rigor, in the tradition that flourished through the hegemony of the...

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