Surveying the work of artists who have favoured the hyperrealist style of painting over the past 50 years.

Photorealism first emerged in the US in the 1960s through painters such as Charles Bell, Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, Chuck Close and John Salt.

Using photography as source material, the associated artists were concerned with painting astonishingly realistic depictions of everyday objects and scenes representative of American life.

Consumer goods, cars, motorcycles, diners and cityscapes were among popular subject matter, which were painstakingly reproduced to a much larger scale in oil and acrylic.

Intended as a means of objective documentation, photorealists distanced themselves from other more subjective art movements of the time, such as abstract expressionism, Pop Art and minimal art.

In fact, when the movement was first exposed to European audiences in 1972, the radical new ways it suggested artists might relate the world was highly controversial.

In the 1980s and 90s, photorealism experienced a second wave of popularity, but this time taking precedence on an international – rather than solely American – scale.

European artists took a particular interest; Anthony Brunelli, Bertrand Meniel, Robert Gniewek and Gus Heinze were just some its most prominent champions, shown here alongside the work of their predecessors from the 60s.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3 3DH

0121 348 8000

Website

Opening times

Monday - Thursday: 10:00 - 17:00

Friday: 10:30 - 17:30

Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 - 17:00

Free to all

Free exhibitions with National Art Pass

10% off in café

Valid to 31 December 2019

The Edwardian Tea Room within Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery offers a great area in which to sit and unwind after viewing the collections. Take in the splendour of the period tiled floor and listed architecture while choosing from freshly prepared salads and sandwiches or hot meals such as the traditional carvery and fish and chips.

A great range of cakes & desserts from the patisserie are also on offer as well as hot & cold drinks and a selection of alcoholic beverages.

You can now receive 10% off all purchases, simply show your National Art Pass when ordering.


Haven't got your pass yet? Learn more


Exhibitions nearby

Back to top