So Real – Selections from the Permanent Collection

September 14 – December 29, 2018

Realism is taken to the extreme as illustrated in this exhibition that features works from UMMA’s permanent collection. So Real introduces viewers to an array of contemporary artists whose processes involve an almost obsessive rendering of details. In both two and three-dimensional compositions, one sees the extraordinary time commitment required to realize these highly detailed works.

Richard Haden’s hand-carved wood sculptures are inspired by discarded objects and detritus that he’s found on the streets. Haden’s paint finishes are so precise that the viewer often mistakes them for the actual objects. The ripped and stained corrugated cardboard in Colonizing Corrugation is actually carved from fine mahogany wood. These sculptures require more than a cursory glance to understand Haden’s meticulous techniques and reveal his chosen materials.

Artist Cayce Zavaglia and Frances Trombley explore hyper-realism through fiber arts. Stitch by stitch, Trombley renders all the items on her grocery receipt and a Miami parking ticket. Zavaglia uses colorful embroidery floss to create in striking detail the subtle features of her young model. In D-Train, a tour-de force multi-color screenprint, Richard Estes has captured, with remarkable clarity, a subway car complete with glistening metal poles and in the distance, the skyscrapers that populate this iconic urban metropolis.

While the viewer contemplates the details in Lori Nix’s image of a dilapidated bar, the magic lies in her painstaking process. Nix has spent countless hours constructing a miniature diorama of this abandoned watering hole. Every item seen in this photograph has been constructed by the artist’s hand, from the tiny taxidermy animals hanging on the tattered walls to the dust covered furniture.

Cayce Zavaglia (American, born 1971) Raphaella II, 2011, Embroidery, Museum Purchase