Showcasing 21 artists, an upcoming exhibition will feature work that operates at the edges of realistic depiction.
Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado, will open its doors to the annual “Edge of Realism” exhibition on August 7. The exhibition, which features works by such artists as Jacob Dhein, Justin Hopkins, John Wentz, David Cheifetz, and Britt Snyder, will highlight new directions and perspectives in contemporary representational painting.

Britt Snyder, “Mittens,” oil, 28 x 27 1/2 in. Abend Gallery

The gallery suggests, “To be on the edge of something can suggest a multitude of things. Perhaps not quite reaching a goal or ideal or, inversely, on the brink of something new and groundbreaking. In terms of art, to be on the edge of realism suggests a position that lies somewhere in the grey area in between. In order for art to fall under this category as it is defined it has to show its subjects or subject matter with complete honesty, accuracy, and leave out any sense of the social constructs of aesthetics and beauty as we know them, which is in itself problematic. It is crucial to note the varying degree of impossibility of depicting something with complete realism and highlighting the fact that it is for this reason that art falls within that grey area. As humans we are imperfect, bound to be influenced by our surroundings and various personal backgrounds that shape the people we become. There will always be bias, a part of the self that gets projected onto those we come into contact with, and it is through recognizing these notions that art made within the realm of realism can be established. 

Dorian Vallejo, “Bubble,” oil, 51 x 42 in. Abend Gallery

“The 21 artists that comprise this exhibition have all created works that fall into the category of realism, however abstractly. Depicting their subjects in a variety of ways: shrouded in other imagery (Meghan Howland), distorting their faces or bodies (Wendelin Wohlgemuth), manipulating light (Britt Snyder), it goes on… What is important to note here are the distinct features in each piece that call the viewer’s attention. The complex nature of the works that make up this show toe the line between realism and something more, creating hybrids of the subjects and objects we are already familiarized with. 
“This exhibition presents a fresh take on already familiar subject matter, but with something more. Each piece emphasizes the individual artists, the qualities that make their perceptions unique and distinct from one another, and highlights the rationale of the curators putting together a show such as this. To be on “The Edge of Realism” suggests something beyond the realm of the ordinary and pushes for the bizarre, insightful, and extraordinary.”
Other artists featured in the exhibition include Jaclyn Alderete, Daliah Ammar, Erin Anderson, Jason Avery, Jennifer Balkan, Michael Dowling, Michael Gadlin + Ron Hicks, Benjamin Garcia, Kelly Houghton, Megan Jaster, Dougan Khim, Zin Lim, Matthew Paoletti, Jane Radstrom, Matthew Saba, Daniel Segrove, Dorian Vallejo, and Emilio Villalba.
“Edge of Realism” opens on August 7 and will be on view through August 28.
To learn more, visit Abend Gallery.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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