Art Term

Hyper-realism

The term hyper-realism appeared in the early 1970s to describe a resurgence of particularly high fidelity realism in sculpture and painting at that time

Ron Mueck, ‘Spooning Couple’ 2005
Ron Mueck
Spooning Couple 2005
Tate / National Galleries of Scotland
© Ron Mueck

It is also called super-realism, and in painting is synonymous with photorealism.

Leading painters were Chuck Close, Robert Bechtle, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings. In sculpture the outstanding practitioner was Duane Hanson, together with John de Andrea. More recently the work of Ron Mueck and some of that of Robert Gober could be seen as hyper-realist.

Related terms and concepts

Art Term

Photorealism

Photorealism is a painting style that emerged in Europe and the USA in the late 1960s, characterised by its painstaking ...

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Tate Etc

One step beyond

What is hyperrealism? Work which feels more real than reality? Or a way of ‘mastering God’s creations’ ? Horst Bredekamp ...

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