‘Hyperrealism. 50 years of painting’ presents three generations of US and European artists in a unique survey of Hyperrealist painting. Hyperrealism sprang up in the 1960s in the USA as a reaction to the dominant trend of Abstract, Minimal and Conceptual Art.
Taking their lead from Pop Art, a group of young American painters made their lives and objects, the product of the emerging consumer society, the theme of their work. They used photography as a source for their paintings by transferring existing images faithfully onto canvas. The paintings of everyday scenes and blown-up consumer commodities – from sweets and shiny car bumpers to ketchup bottles – attracted a lot of attention from both admirers and critics. The works of these artists, including Chuck Close, Robert Bechtle, Richard Estes, John Salt and Franz Gertsch, are painted with such meticulousness and precision that they look like photographs. With more than seventy works by a good thirty artists, this survey presents the history of a fascinating artistic movement. It follows the Kunsthal’s programmatic line of exhibitions connected with realism, such as Chuck Close, Duane Hanson, The Adventure of Reality | International Realism and Painting Now! Back to Figuration.
Kunsthal Rotterdam is housed in a striking building designed by Rotterdam s OMA/Rem Koolhaas architectural practice and was opened in 1992. Since then, the Kunsthal has put culture in the widest sense of the word on show, from elitist to popular.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, pigeon racing is in decline and pigeon fanciers are an ageing community. In the United Kingdom the sport is still practiced enthusiastically and in Asia it is positively booming. The English photographer Zak Waters followed several clubs of enthusiastic participants and aficionados, also known as ‘colombophiles’.
Conny Janssen Dances is exactly the same age as the Kunsthal! Therefore, its 25th anniversary is reason for an inspiring, 'extra-large' cross-fertilization between the Kunsthal building, the art, the dancers and the public.