Abend Gallery presents
Edge of Realism
featuring the works of
Jaclyn Alderete, Daliah Ammar, Erin Anderson, Jennifer Balkan,
David Cheifetz, Jacob Dhein, Michael Dowling, Michael Gadlin + Ron Hicks,
Benjamin Garcia, Justin Hopkins, Kelly Houghton, Meghan Howland, Megan Jaster,
Jason Avery, Dougan Khim, Zin Lim, Jane Radstrom, Matthew Saba, Britt Snyder,
Dorian Vallejo, Emilio Villalba, John Wentz, and Wendelin Wohlgemuth
Aug 7 – Aug 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Fri, Aug 7, 6-9 pm
“While realism in art is often used in the same contexts as naturalism, implying a concern to depict or describe accurately and objectively, it also suggests a deliberate rejection of conventionally beautiful or appropriate subjects in favor of sincerity and a focus on simple and unidealized treatment of contemporary life.” – OED
DENVER, CO. - Abend Gallery is proud to present the second annual Edge of Realism, a showcase of 21 artists whose work operates at the edges of realistic depiction. This exhibition brings together a diverse range of work from local and national artists whose work operates at the margins of realist painting, whether it be through the deconstructed, abstracted realism of Jacob Dhein, Justin Hopkins, and John Wentz, or via the tightly rendered yet surreal works of David Cheifetz, Dorian Vallejo, and Britt Snyder. The exhibition is a collection of works that signal new directions and perspectives in contemporary representational painting.
To be on the edge of something can suggest a multitude of things. Perhaps not quite reaching a goal or ideal or, inversely, on the brink of something new and groundbreaking. In terms of art, to be on the edge of realism suggests a position that lies somewhere in the grey area in between. In order for art to fall under this category as it is defined it has to show its subjects or subject matter with complete honesty, accuracy, and leave out any sense of the social constructs of aesthetics and beauty as we know them, which is in itself problematic. It is crucial to note the varying degree of impossibility of depicting something with complete realism and highlight the fact that it is for this reason that art falls within that grey area. As humans we are imperfect, bound to be influenced by our surroundings and various personal backgrounds that shape the people we become. There will always be bias, a part of the self that gets projected onto those we come into contact with and it is through recognizing these notions that art made within the realm of realism can be established.
The 21 artists that comprise this exhibition have all created works that fall into the category of realism, however abstractly. Depicting their subjects in a variety of ways: shrouded in other imagery (Meghan Howland), distorting their faces or bodies (Wendelin Wohlgemuth), manipulating light (Britt Snyder), it goes on… What is important to note here are the distinct features in each piece that call the viewer’s attention. The complex nature of the works that make up this show toe the line between realism and something more, creating hybrids of the subjects and objects we are already familiarized with.
This exhibition presents a fresh take on already familiar subject matter but with something more. Each piece emphasizes the individual artists’, the qualities that make their perceptions unique and distinct from one another, and highlights the rational of the curators when putting together a show such as this. To be on The Edge of Realism suggests something beyond the realm of the ordinary and pushes for the bizarre, insightful, and extraordinary.
An opening reception will be held on Friday, Aug 7 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.