‘Truth & Vision’: 20 Contemporary Realist Painters at the Delaware Art Museum

“Lemon Fall,” 2015. Scott Fraser (born 1957). Oil on board, 51 1/2 × 66 inches. © Scott Fraser. Courtesy of Quidley & Company.

Through drawings and paintings of the figure, still lifes, and landscapes, the exhibiting painters draw inspiration from the canon — Renaissance painting, the Hudson River School, American Modernism — and advance realism as a critical mode. Truth & Vision: 21st Century Realism, at the Delaware Art Museum through January 22, 2017, features 20 realist artists from throughout North America and Canada.

Some engage directly with traditional artistic techniques, such as trompe l’oeil (fool the eye); others photorealistically render a post-industrial landscape. Two trends dominate: depiction of the natural world and creation of fantastic imaginings.

Inspired by Robert C. Jackson’s 2014 publication, Behind the Easel: The Unique Voices of 20 Contemporary Representational Painters, the exhibition traces developments in a style associated with the Brandywine Valley and celebrates realism’s profound growth. Artists included: Steven Assael, Bo Bartlett, Debra Bermingham, Margaret Bowland, Paul Fenniak, Scott Fraser, Woody Gwyn, F. Scott Hess, Laurie Hogin, Robert C. Jackson, Alan Magee, Janet Monafo, John Moore, Charles Pfahl, Scott Prior, Stone Roberts, Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin, Daniel Sprick, Will Wilson, and Jerome Witkin.

Since its 1912 founding, the Museum has featured contemporary representational painting. Many artists in Truth & Vision acknowledge the impact of artists in the Museum’s permanent collection — Howard Pyle, Edward Hopper, N.C. Wyeth, and Andrew Wyeth. While the influences are similar, there is much to celebrate in the diversity of realism today.

The Museum is at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806. Admission is free Thursdays 4:00–8:00 p.m. and Sundays 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.