Monday, April 25, 2016

Artist of the Week: Richard Estes Photo- Realist Painter

Richard Estes is an American painter best known for his photorealistic paintings which generally consist of reflective, clean, and inanimate city and geometric landscapes. Estes is regarded as one of the founders of the international photo-realist movement of the late 1960's, with painters such as Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, and Duane Hanson. Their work exhibits a high finish, fine details and an almost photographic fidelity to reality.

 Richard Estes, in some ways, is like an urban Andrew Wyeth. While Estes devotes his attention to newness and Wyeth emphasizes weathered use, there is a similar minuteness of attention to detail, texture and brushwork. Underlying each brilliant technique, however, is emotional content of a differing kind of somewhat aloof, stand-offishness in Estes, a melancholy sense of loss and the passing of an era in Wyeth.

Richard Estes is the best of the Photo-Realists in terms of handling paint, building forms and expressing himself in his work. There is mind and emotion at work in Estes, though he would deny the latter quality. His concern for visual observation is so acute, his awareness of symbolic or emotional content apparently so minimal, that it might be said of Estes, as it was of Monet, that "he is only an eye; but what an eye." Estes has exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Richard Estes's work can be found in public and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of Fine Art, both in New York City.

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