Icons of contemporary American realism, the works of Richard Estes have established him as one of the pre-eminent realist painters of his generation. Photorealism emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s, deliberately flouting the prevailing abstraction that dominated the American art scene. Estes was at the forefront of this new photographically derived and inspired imagery, which appeared at a time when even the very existence of painting was being challenged by modernist art critics.
The apparent simplicity of Estes’s paintings is deceptive. They show us the world anew – not as we experience it, not as the camera records it, but as the artist interprets and recreates it. Beginning with his early depictions of urban life in reflective surfaces such as windows and highly polished cars, this new monograph brings the story right up to date with his eerily beautiful landscapes and waterscapes painted in locations as varied as Antarctica and on-board the Staten Island ferry. The range of themes and works provides a splendid introduction to this celebrated artist.