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San Francisco

San Jose Museum of Art

Exhibition Detail
Real and HyperReal
110 South Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113

January 30th, 2010 - August 10th, 2010
Inferno, Sandow BirkSandow Birk, Inferno,
2003 , Oil and acrylic on canvas , 66 x 120 inches
© Gift of the Lipman Family Foundation, in honor of the San Jose Museum of Art's 35th anniversary
Shopping Mall, James DoolinJames Doolin, Shopping Mall,
1973-77, Oil on canvas, 90 x 90 inches
© Gift of Lauren Richardson Doolin with additional funds contributed by Tom and Polly Bredt, in honor of the San Jose Museum of Art's 35th anniversary
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Peninsula/South Bay
Tue-Sun 11-5; Closed Monday, and all Monday holidays
realism, installation, new-media, illusionism

For centuries, people have admired artists’ magical ability to depict reality—the virtuoso dab of paint that becomes a pearl in a Vermeer painting, for example. What is realism in the 21st century, when our world has taken on a virtual as well as physical dimension? Real and HyperReal contrasts traditional realism rooted in careful observation of our immediate, visible world with new riffs on realism that mirror the expansive realities of the information age. The “real” illusionism of painters such as Sandow Birk, Llyn Foulkes, Tino Rodriguez, and Paul Wonner is juxtaposed with two “hyper-real,” monumental installations by new-media artists Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin (who use live, streaming text pulled from Internet chat rooms in The Listening Post, just back from an extended European tour) and Catherine Wagner (who explores magnetic resonance imaging in Pomegranate Wall). This exhibition asks you to question the ambiguous line between fact and fiction, between illusion and reality today.

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