Art Term

Photorealism

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

Andrew Grassie, ‘Tate New Hang 6’ 2005
Andrew Grassie
Tate New Hang 6 2005
Tate
© Andrew Grassie

Photorealism rejected the painterly qualities by which individual artists could be recognised, and instead strove to create pictures that looked photographic. Visual complexity, heightened clarity and a desire to be emotionally neutral led to banal subject matter that likened the movement to pop art.

The early 1990s saw a renewed interest in photorealism, thanks to new technology in the form of cameras and digital equipment which offered more precision.

Related terms and concepts

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 ...

Art Term

Pop art

Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s and flourished in the 1960s in America and Britain ...

Selected artists in the collection