Notebook, 1993-


Art of the Real

Name of one of the trends in visual art which, chiefly in the USA, succeeded the breach with Abstract Expressionism from the late 1950s. Its most important distinguishing feature was the attempt to abolish traditional distinctions between works of art and objects of everyday reality. The art of the Real repudiated traditional 'realism' in the sense of vertical or illusory representation, claiming for the art object reality in the same sense that objects of everyday experience are real. It also repudiated traditional form in the sense of artistic composition, harmony, etc. The art object was to make no allusion to the perceived world by simulation, symbol, metaphor or suggestion. Emphasis was laid upon its physical reality, and an immediate aesthetic experience was claimed to result from the direct impact of this.

To some extent the Art of the Real overlaps with what has been called Minimal Art, or Hard Edge or ABC art and to some extent with Conceptual art. Among it exponents have ben such artists as Kelly, Judd, Stella, Noland, Feeley and Tony Smith, although not all the works of any of these artists can properly be brought within the category. [Osborne, Harold, ed. Oxford Companion Of Twentieth Century Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press,1988.]



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