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

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  • Ron Mueck, 'Spooning Couple' 2005
    Ron Mueck
    Spooning Couple 2005
    Mixed media
    plinth: 690 x 827 x 624 mm, 20 kg
    displayed: 1165 x 1040 x 790 mm
    Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008© Ron Mueck
  • Robert Gober, 'Drains' 1990
    Robert Gober
    Drains 1990
    object: 94 x 94 x 42 mm
    Purchased 1992© Robert Gober
  • Lisa Milroy, 'Finsbury Square' 1995
    Lisa Milroy
    Finsbury Square 1995
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1755 x 2291 mm
    Presented by the Patrons of New Art (Special Purchase Fund) through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1996© Lisa Milroy

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.