Deitch and Gagosian Collaborate for the First Time with “Unrealism”

by CaroPosted on

Art world powerhouses Larry Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch have been colleagues since 1979 and have worked with many of the same artists, which made their debut collaboration “UNREALISM” during Miami Art Week such a special one. The result was an extensive exhibition on contemporary figurative painting and sculpture that took up every level of the 20,000 sq foot Art Deco-looking Moore Building in Miami’s Design District. The title of their collaboration points to the sudden revival in figurative works by a core group of artists, and although their art has some basis in reality, it also combines elements of the unreal. According to Gagosian and Deitch, they represent a wide range and evolution of contemporary styles- artists like Duane Hanson, Tony Matelli, Jeff Koons, John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, Glenn Brown, John Ahearn, Joe Coleman, Swoon, Rachel Feinstein, Dana Shutz, and Chloe Wise. Their work also represents a bit of a generation gap. That’s because it was important for the curators to include work from artists who were active in the 80s and 90s for a well-rounded view of the genre’s growth. For instance, there were several hyperrealistic sculptures from the late artist Duane Hanson, such as “Old lady in folding chair” (1976) and “Cheerleader” (1988) on display next to Tony Matelli’s eerily life-like “Sleepwalker”. Where Hanson used realism to illustrate working class Americans, including his own family members, Matelli’s is more metaphorical and is a figure of pathos. Other artists like Chloe Wise deviated from their peers. Wise’s portrait titled “I Remember Everything I’ve Ever Eaten” is ultramodern, addressing today’s portrayal of gender in the context of this particular exhibition. “It’s a painting of Hari Nef- the trans model/actress/activist.The reason the painting is interesting is because it’s a portrayal and representation of a trans woman in an otherwise largely normative figurative show. I chose to paint an underrepresented body for a reason,” she told Hi-Fructose in an email. Whether it’s a hyperrealism sculpture or intricate painting, these figurative artists are not only taking reference from the past, but are looking forward into the future, thus creating an entirely new concept of human identity.


Chloe Wise


Jamian Juliano-Villani


Francesco Clemente


Duane Hanson


Jeff Koons


Emily Mae Smith


Emily Mae Smith (detail)


Urs Fischer


Les Quinones


Swoon


Joe Coleman


Joe Coleman


John Ahearn


John Ahearn


John Ahearn


John Currin


John Currin (detail)


John Currin


Glenn Brown


Lisa Yuskavage


Jenny Saville


Nathaniel Mary Quinn


Djordje Ozbolt


Jamian-Juliano Villani


Meleko Mogosi


Duane Hanson


Duane Hanson


Tony Matelli

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