Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism Exhibition Opens at Reynolda House Museum of American Art July 15
Paintings and Prints Evoke the Heyday of Post-war America
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (June 30, 2022)— Reynolda House Museum of American Art is pleased to announce the opening of its latest world-class exhibition, Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism. Open to the public on July 15, 2022, the exhibition will run through Dec. 31, 2022. Curated by Reynolda’s Curator, Allison Slaby, Chrome Dreams highlights the nostalgia associated with America’s post-war boom. Reynolda has assembled 41 works of art, 28 of which are from private collectors in the Winston-Salem area, that reflect the glittering cityscapes, shiny storefront windows and sleek automobiles that are indicative of the period and the style of Photorealism.
Beginning in the 1960s, a small group of artists began examining their world through photographs and then creating paintings and prints that mimic those photographs with extraordinary precision. The exhibition features multiple artists considered pioneers of the style, including Robert Cottingham, Robert Bechtle, Richard Estes, Jack Mendenhall, Richard Mclean, Ralph Goings, Ron Kleeman, Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, Janet Fish, Chuck Close and Ben Schonzeit.
The exhibition’s curator, Allison Slaby, said, “I’ve been fascinated by Photorealism for years, even before coming to Reynolda. This exhibition came out of a visit to an art collector’s home here in Winston-Salem. I walked into his house and stopped dead in my tracks at the large-scale Richard Estes screenprint hanging on his wall! When we discovered he also owned several other works by Estes, I knew I had the nucleus of an exhibition right here in town. Then we began seeking out other Photorealist paintings and prints from peer institutions such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the High in Atlanta, and the Birmingham Museum of Art. I think visitors will be astonished by this stunning collection of work.”
Reynolda’s director, Allison Perkins, said, “We’re thrilled, at long last, to be able to finally open this exhibition. Chrome Dreams was delayed by the pandemic for two years, and we’re grateful to our colleagues and our local collectors for their patience and generosity. We’re ready to jump back in time to the cool look and feel of the 1970s!”
Artists have used the camera in the production of paintings since its invention in the mid-19th century, but the Photorealists revolutionized the relationship between photography and painting. Photorealists based their paintings on photographs, sometimes taken by the artist, at other times mined from print sources. Employing virtuosic painting technique and sometimes tools such as projectors and airbrushes, Photorealist artists meticulously recreate the photographs in paint, often on a large scale.
Photorealist paintings, however, are not simple demonstrations of skill or straightforward representations of the physical world. Instead, they often offer wry or pointed commentary on consumer culture, urban architecture and the visual onslaught of modern life. By focusing their attention on commonplace objects such as cheap costume jewelry, store awnings or automobiles, Photorealist artists elevate these items so that the viewer questions their suitability as subjects for fine art. The paintings raise thought-provoking questions about the nature of art itself.
Press images are available here: reynolda.org/press-chromedreams
Reynolda on the House is a series of events designed to inspire a sense of belonging for anyone who visits the Museum. Programming and themes take inspiration from the fall 2022 exhibition, Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism. Guests will enjoy access to the historic house, as well as light programming, all without admission fee.
Thursday, August 25 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registration will be available on reynolda.org/chromedreams.
Reynolda House is grateful for the support of the following sponsors of Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism
Mercedes Benz of Winston-Salem
The Charles H. Babcock, Jr. Arts and Community Initiative Endowment
Joan and David Cotterill
The Robert and Constance Emken Fund of the Winston-Salem Foundation
Hours and Admission
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, located at 2250 Reynolda Rd., is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Admission is charged. Museum members, children 18 and under, students, active or retired military personnel with ID, first responders and employees of Wake Forest University and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with valid ID receive free admission to the Museum. Passes to Reynolda House in English and Spanish are also available to check out from every branch of the Forsyth County Public Library free of charge.
Reynolda Gardens is open from dawn to dusk daily free of charge. The Greenhouse is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reynolda Village merchant hours vary. No ticket is needed to shop at the Reynolda House Museum store. Explore reynolda.org for more information.
Reynolda is set on 170 acres in Winston-Salem, N.C. and comprises Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village Shops and Restaurants. The Museum presents a renowned art collection in a historic and incomparable setting: the original 1917 interiors of Katharine and R. J. Reynolds’s 34,000-square-foot home. Its collection is a chronology of American art and featured exhibitions are offered in the Museum’s Babcock Gallery and house bedrooms. The Gardens serve as a 134-acre outdoor horticultural oasis open to the public year-round, complete with colorful formal gardens, nature trails and a greenhouse. In the Village, the estate’s historic buildings are now home to a vibrant mix of boutiques, restaurants, shops and services. Plan your visit at reynolda.org and use the mobile app Reynolda Revealed to self-tour the estate.
LEAD IMAGE: Richard Estes, D Train (1988), screenprint in colors on museum board, private collection, copyright Richard Estes, Courtesy of the Schoelkopf Gallery.