America, Emerged in the Late 1960′s/Early 1970′s
Contemporary Realism is the straightforward realistic approach to representation which continues to be widely practiced in this post-abstract era. It is different from Photorealism, which is somewhat exaggerated and ironic and conceptual in its nature.
Contemporary Realists form a disparate group, but what they share is that they are literate in the concepts of Modern Art but choose to work in a more traditional form. Many Contemporary Realists actually began as abstract painters, having come through an educational system dominated by an professors and theorists dismissive of representational painting.
Among the best-known artists associated with this movement are William Bailey, Neil Welliver and Philip Pearlstein. There is an identifiable “group” of Contemporary Realists, but we have used a fairly loose definition to allow inclusion of a larger number of 20th-century realists.