|At the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, Long Island right now, until March 4, is the exhibition Fool the Eye which Debbie and myself curated. You’ve been hearing a lot about that.
There’s another show, too, on the subject. If you happen to be in Rotterdam over the coming months, the show of Hypperealism Sculpture at the Kunsthall presents the three-dimensional side of this movement, through artists’ portrayals of the human figure. I wrote one of the catalogue essays, and its an opportunity to re-visit the topic of Fool the Eye in a different way.
Like Fool the Eye, its got lots of sculpture that is so realistic you will think it’s the real thing. Having previously done a show at Nassau Museum dealing with George Segal, Duane Hanson, and John de Andrea, I am familiar with how this idea evolved. Segal wrapped his models in plaster of Paris. After they were freed from the molded plaster, Segal further worked on the exterior to produce his art. Hanson and de Andrea reversed the process and created work by casting from within such a mold, furthering illusion by realistically painting the figures and adding clothes and other props.
The show in Rotterdam (which has been traveling Europe starting form Bilbao’s Museum of Contemporary Art) traces the story through three generations of artists culminating in the present day! I wish it was coming to the United States, but so far I haven’t heard that it is. My essay, which we’ll try to eventually post in the English version, examines the topic from the vantage point of relative Classicism, Realism, and Romanticism.
For the moment, if you are not going to the Netherlands soon, make sure you see Fool the Eye at Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor (visit www.nassaumuseum.com for directions and hours) before it ends.
Highlights include Randall Rosenthal’s hundred dollar bills partially stuffed in an envelope (but actually made of paint and carved wood) and Otto Duecker’s painting of a Marilyn Monroe photograph taped down with masking tape (see above). One reviewer, commenting on the painting’s tricky realism, said that the only thing that wasn’t actually painted was the tape: he was wrong- that was painted illusionistically too. It’s a fun show in every respect, and if you haven’t been to the Nassau County Museum of Art, which is in a gorgeous Beaux Arts mansion on 140 garden acres, that’s a treat, too!
By the way, if you go to the European show, in the Rotterdam Kunsthal, visit www.kunsthal.nl for information. The exhibit is on view from March 10-July 1, 2018,
Above: Rotterdam Kunsthal; Below: Nassau County Museum of Art
Do you now the difference (this is in German) between a Kunsthalle and a Kunsthaus?
Kunst means art, so haus means house, and halle likewise a hall. A Kunsthaus shows permanent collection art they own, a Kunsthalle is a space for travelling exhibitions or curated shows of borrowed works. NCMA, by the way, which has a history as what might arguably be described as the first incarnation (or at least a trial run of the idea- an initial focus on German and Austrian art) of the Neue Galerie (with Serge Sabarsky as Nassau’s first Director) was intended to be a Kunsthalle, which is mostly what it still does today.