Martin Wittfooth, “Gathering,” oil on canvas, 64 x 32 in. (c) Abend Gallery 2016

Posted: Thursday, 22 September 2016 12:32PM

Andrew Webster Reporting

How do you define “imaginative realism”? Renowned artist James Gurney has suggested that it is the realistic depiction of something that one can only imagine. Perhaps it’s something more? This Denver gallery investigates during a major group exhibition.

Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado, is the proud host of a large group exhibition that seeks to explore the cutting-edge genre of imaginative realism. Highlighting many of the genre’s best artists, “Inner Visions” was curated by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire, Directors of IX Arts, and features works by more than 70 artists.

David Cheifetz, “Angel of Creation,” oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in. (c) Abend Gallery 2016

The gallery describes the wide potential of the genre, suggesting that it “combines classical painting technique with postmodern narrative subjects, focusing on the unreal, the unseen, and the impossible, offering visions of humanity’s mythic past, its unexplored future and, in some cases, the terrifying present.”

Luke Hillestad, “Full Hearts,” oil on canvas, 29 x 32 in. (c) Abend Gallery 2016

As exciting and stimulating as the theme is, perhaps the greatest feature of the exhibition is the artists included, who range from the burgeoning to the experienced and beyond. Among them are Luke Hillestad, Boris Vallejo, Michael C. Hayes, Scott Burdick, Rick Berry, Annie Stegg, Jody Fallon, and many more.

Via the gallery, “‘Imaginative realism satisfies a dual urge in the viewer,’ says co-curator Patrick Wilshire. ‘It meets the viewer’s desire for aesthetic quality and appreciation of technical skill, but also provides the opportunity to experience narrative, character and concept within that technically-skilled framework.’”

“Inner Visions” opens on October 8 and will be on view through November 11. 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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