Art Term


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)
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland

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.

  • Photorealism

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

Explore this term

  • One step beyond

    Barbara Maria Stafford and Horst Bredekamp

    What is hyperrealism? Work which feels more real than reality? Or a way of ‘mastering God’s creations’ ? Horst Bredekamp and Barbara Maria Stafford look at the meticulous portrait paintings of Albrecht Dürer, Joris Hoefnagel, Richard Phillips, Chuck Close and others.


Selected artworks in the collection