The real world
Realism, as a painting style, has been through a lot of evolutions in its lifetime. It began as the only approach, because art’s purpose then was more about factually recording events. A series of twists and turns in the 19th century led to an all-out rethinking of the genre throughout the 20th century. Critics in recent decades have shunned realism entirely, but, for some reason, even now as we cut our teeth on the 21st century, it’s alive and well. Celebrating this undying approach toward art-making, the 20th Street Art Gallery, at 911 20th Street, is hosting a group show simply titled Realism. The exhibit features work by 17 artists, including a couple of dazzling figure paintings by Ping Jun and some strong pieces by Marbo Barnard, along with the works of others with a similar passion to create illusion-driven representational paintings. Although the styles and subjects vary, the show illustrates a love for a time-honored way of painting.