Illusions in Ink: Photorealist Prints

John Baeder (b. 1938), Market Diner, from the portfolio Cityscapes, 1981, serigraph. Gift of Louis and Susan P. Meisel. Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley

Noel Mahaffey (b. 1944), Night-Times Square, from the portfolio Cityscapes, 1981, serigraph. Gift of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel. Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley

Ron Kleeman (b. 1937), Gas Line, from the portfolio Cityscapes, 1981, serigraph. Gift of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel. Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley

Sun, 05/26/2013 - Sun, 08/11/2013
Payne Hurd Gallery

From a distance they look like photographs. Close up, it is clear that they are actually serigraph prints that were painstakingly rendered to look like photographs. Photorealism — also known as hyperrealism, superrealism, and the new realism—is a type of painting, printmaking, and sculpture that originated in the United States in the mid-1960s and still thrives today. It involves the precise reproduction of a photograph by the artist’s hand in another medium. While earlier artists used photographs as tools to help them render reality, photorealists use photographs as their actual subject matter. The photorealists paved the way for postmodernism by appropriating the “look” of contemporary photography. The prints in this exhibition were executed by hand, but unlike photorealist paintings they were produced as multiples—just like photography.