We really love art around here. It is something we talk about in the office all the time. So when we found these pictures of a remarkable exhibit in Spain, we thought it would be a rare chance to share one of our true passions with you.

The pictures are of figurative sculptures featured in an exhibit at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao Spain. The exhibit is called “Hyperrealist Sculpture 1973-2016” and we think you will be amazed at the artwork.

This remarkable exhibit features 34 sculptures of the human figure, created by 26 of the leading practitioners of Hyperrealist art.


Hyperrealism is an art movement that came out of the 1960’s as a return to representational art, or art that looks like what it is supposed to be. During much of the post World War II period, much of the focus of art was to dig into the abstract and conceptual possibilities. Artists in the United States absorbed pre-war European avant-garde art and molded it to an American sensibility.

Artists like Jackson Pollack became known for paintings that were more about the act of applying paint to surface, rather than depicting any specific facet of life. Others, like Mark Rothko, began examining the quality of color and using large swatches in what became known as “color field painting.”

Other artists, like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, began to see art in everyday objects and in advertising. They became the best known “Pop” artists, as they elevated Campbell’s Soup Cans and comic book design to high art and a place in the biggest museums in the world.

The true turning point came in the early sixties when such artist as Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner removed the act of actually creating any material object from their artistic practice. Language itself became the means of expression, and ideas were as, or more important, than the execution of those ideas. This became known as conceptual art. And although it has been difficult for many outside of the art world to understand it, it was originally a movement to liberate art from the highfalutin museums and rich collectors that dominated it.

At this point some painters and sculptors saw a need to return to the process of making “representational” art, or art that actually portrays a concrete object. But simple realism was not enough for a world that already had cameras. For these artists, nothing less than the most accurate, high resolution depictions of the human body and its surroundings would do. They developed their craft and soon became known as the “Hyperrealists.”

Their work took traditional artistic subjects, the human figure, the still life, and the landscape, and transformed them for a world that could imagine men on the moon and television. They did not stop with super accurate paintings, they began to explore the possibility of merging those hyperreal depictions, with their own ideas about the state of the human condition in the world.

Ron Mueck’s realistic sculptures

The exhibit at the Museo de Bellas Artes features the works of George Segal, Paul McCarthy, Juan Muñoz, Xavier Veilhan, Carole Feuerman, and Robert Gober, among others.

What do you think of art that looks like this? Who is your favorite artist? Please share your thoughts with us here.


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