Washington Realism

Manon Cleary, Kevin MacDonald, Martin Kotler, Fred Folsom, Rebecca Davenport, Scott G. Brooks, Gregory Thielker, Joe White, Trevor Young

January 27-March 30, 2012

Washington Realism gathers representational paintings by local and regional artists who paint “what the eye can see." Each artist in the exhibition approaches a challenge that has persisted in painting for more than 3,000 years—that of realistically representing people and places—what we might call our perpetual reach for realism. Realism as a modern artistic movement developed in opposition to the romanticism dominating 19th century French painting. It coincided with the advent of photography, which solidified a concept of the everyday as subject matter. As similar as we believe our ideas of reality might be, each painting in the show attests to how varied reality is from one artist to another, as well as from one observer to another. Yet, the show possesses a collective viewpoint. Contrary to the political drama and imagery projected by mass media to those outside our nation’s capital, these artists choose to eschew the glitz and glam and depict the everyday.