Richard Estes is best known for his photo-like paintings of the gleaming and infinitely reflected streets of New York. They are easy to recognize and even easier to appreciate. A comprehensive survey featuring 50 of his paintings – more than half of which are from private collections – is now on view at the Portland Museum of Art.
Estes is widely (and rightly) credited as the main force behind “photorealism,” what many Americans now see as “realism.” While Estes’ work requires technique to succeed, it is hardly about creating a literal translation of the world in paint. Rather, it is a deep investigation into the relationship between the historically dominant mode of visual culture – painting – and its would-be usurper – photography.
if you go
“RICHARD ESTES’ REALISM”
WHERE: Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland
WHEN: Through Sept. 7
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.