What it Seems – Reality on Canvas 1970-2020
Many artists seek to achieve an impression of realism in their works. In order to reach their goal, they adopt skills that require both training and technology, as well as paying attention to various details. When successful, the stunned and amazed viewers cannot believe their own eyes. But is everything what it seems in paintings and other works created in a realistic style?
Looking over the half-century history of Icelandic realist painting, it turns out that artists engage with this approach on very different grounds. Ever since pop art, up to the digital revolution of our time, countless threads may be traced through naturalism, photorealism, hyperrealism, magic realism and the like. The subjects are of various kinds: Nature, human beings and their surroundings, still life and narratives, the mediation of images and the nature of our field of vision. This is where familiar boundaries overlap; between high and low art, craft and content, art and kitsch. Reality has countless manifestations when brought to the canvas.