Realism is a monolithic, lockstep, strictly governed method of painterly visualisation shattered into nuances of interpretation. Where you paint can make you a Regional Realist. What you paint might label you a Genre Realist, or who you paint classifies your work as Portrait Realist - or maybe a Portrait Regionalist Realist if you paint Native Americans in the West, or sea captains on the East Coast.
Of the variations cited, there are even further nuances that mock the concept of 'American Realism' as all-embracing style. What remains are American Realist artists, each facing subject matter that is part of the fabric of the American scene. The result of their efforts is determined by the filtering of their perceptions through their individual intellects, skill sets, training, regional influences, ethnic influences, and basic nurturing. If there is any binding together it is within the tradition of Realist Art in the United States, which accepts such a range from Winslow Homer's poetic watercolours of the 1860s to the haunting minutiae of Andrew Wyeth and melancholy light of Edward Hopper in the 1950s and 1960s.
This book presents a cross-section of American Realist artists spanning more than one hundred years of art. It begins as some artists struggle with the influences of Europe and other home-grown painters bring their 19th-century American scenes to life, and ends as today's generation of Realist painters co-exist with American Modernism and absorb this new freedom into the latest incarnation of their art.
Gerry Souter earned his degree at the Art Institute of Chicago and then went on to do further studies in art at the University of Chicago. Himself an artist, Souter has exhibited his paintings and photographs at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Phoenix Art Museum, and a number of other galleries. A professional author, he has written more than twenty books since 1997, with great success. His continuing studies in art history and architecture, the sharpness of his writing, and his visual experience add a dynamic aspect to the study of the lives of artists and the description of their works, keeping the reader captivated, page after page.
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