Photo-Realism and Hyperrealism in American Art


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Photo-Realism and Hyperrealism in American Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." The count of pages in the TFAO website citing relevant keywords is an indicator of our breadth of coverage for this topic. We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

We welcome suggestions for additional content by sending an email to


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

Richard Estes' Realism (5/6/14)

Ian Hornak: Transparent Barricades (8/20/13)

Bert Monroy, Master Artist Tribute VIII: A Digital Artist Paints With Light

Adventures in a Temperate Climate: A Retrospective of Paintings by Martin Mull (12/1/06)

Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective (12/8/05)

The Eclectic Eye: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation (7/27/05)

Duane Hanson: Portraits from the Heartland (4/7/05)

The Contemporary Eye (12/23/04)

Duane Hanson: Portraits (12/22/04)

Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective (11/15/04)

Duane Hanson: Portraits from the Heartland (5/12/04)

Cities of Promise: Imaging Urban California (12/20/03)

Pennsylvania Painters and the Roots of Realism, essay by Judith Hansen O'Toole (8/2/01)

To Be Real, by Richard J. Powell (6/8/01)

Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000 (3/30/01)

Ultra-realistic Sculpture by Marc Sijan (2/27/01)

Duane Hanson: Virtual Reality (9/23/00)

Ed Ruscha Retrospective (8/2/00)

James Valerio: Drawings (5/8/00)

Cities of Promise: Imaging Urban California (12/20/03)

John Register: A Retrospective (11/21/99)

A Cast of Characters: Figurative Sculpture (10/30/99)

Realism, PhotoRealism, SuperRealism (8/5/99)

Major Duane Hanson Retrospective, First Since His Death, Comes to Brooks (3/17/99)

Watercolors by Arthur E. Smith (4/17/98)

Also see TFAO's topic Realism


TFAO references:

As of 12/5/13 TFAO Digital Library contained 364 pages referencing the phrase "photo-realist," 30 pages referencing the phrase "hyper-realist" 24 pages referencing the phrase "super-realist" and 24 pages referencing the phrase "ultra-realist"


From other websites:

California Classic: Realist Paintings by Robert Bechtle from Oakland Museum of California. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

John Baeder, April 28, 2012 - July 22, 2012 from Georgia Museum of Art. Accessed August, 2015.

Painterly to Precise: Richard Estes at the Currier was a 2015 exhibit at the Currier Museum of Art, which says: "Two new acquisitions provide the heart of a focus exhibition of works by one of America's best-known photorealist painters, Richard Estes (born 1932)" Accessed 10/16

Photorealism from Accessed August, 2015.

Photo Realism from AskArt. Accessed August, 2015.

Rackstraw Downes: Under the Westside Highway, an exhibit held June 27, 2010, to January 12, 2011 at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Accessed August, 2015.

Robert Bechtle / Matrix 33 is a 1980 exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive which says: "Robert Bechtle has been a seminal force in the development of the Photo Realist approach to representational painting, one which presents a relentlessly factual depiction of a subject that has been first photographically recorded, then painstakingly translated into paint on canvas." Also see entry in Wikipedia. Accessed 3/17

Still Life: 1970s Photorealism was a 2015 exhibit at the Currier Museum of Art, which says: "Imagine paintings that look so real that you feel you can walk into the canvas and back in time, or sculptures so lifelike that you want to reach out and interact with the subjects. In the 1970s, a group of primarily American artists including Chuck Close and Duane Hanson decided that art should accurately reflect the world we see around us." Accessed 10/16

KQED / San Francisco offers streaming video relating to "arts & literature" in the Bay Area. In a 10-minute, 27-second Arts Archive video from a September 12, 2005 episode titled "Paint x 3," Spark watches Robert Bechtle at work rendering one of his favorite subjects -- his Potrero Hill neighborhood -- and talking about his motivations and images as he prepares for a retrospective exhibit of his work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (February 12 through June 5, 2005). Accessed May, 2015.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art website contains an interactive online exhibit titled Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective which contains movies. In one movie the artist describes how he paints motion and stillness and in another he discusses still life vs. landscape painting. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]


DVD/VHS videos:

-- not researched

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format



-- not researched

Return to Topics in American Representational Art

TFAO catalogues:

Individual pages in each catalogue are continuously amended as TFAO adds content, corrects errors and reorganizes sections for improved readability. Refreshing or reloading pages enables readers to view the latest updates.

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

Search Resource Library

Copyright 2015 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.