Still Life displays works associated with Photorealism—a movement comprising painters who took photography as their subject and sculptors who recreated the human body with surprising accuracy. A significant trend in art of the 1970s, Photorealism has sometimes been described since then as a more mechanical offshoot of 1960s Pop art. However, the works in Still Life make a compelling argument that Photorealists captured life in the 1970s with a grittier honesty than has previously been acknowledged. These works have renewed relevance as the ability of photography to capture “the real” has undergone dramatic changes and continues to develop in unanticipated ways. Among the leading artists whose work is included in Still Life are Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings, Duane Hanson, Malcolm Morley, Ben Schonzeit and Idelle Weber.
Still Life: 1970s Photorealism, on view from July 19 to November 9, 2014, was organized at the Yale University Art Gallery by Cathleen Chaffee, Ph.D., now curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.