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Art History across the 20th century was marked by a series of evolutions in artistic trends, each with a common trait: the shift towards abstraction. From the cubism of Picasso to the abstract expressionism of Pollock, not forgetting the conceptualism and minimalism of Duchamps, and all the schools seeking to emancipate themselves from centuries of conventional painting, which was strictly governed by a fidelity to the subject that many artists felt stifled their creativity.  

1973, however, saw the eruption of hyperrealism and the resurgence of the figurative. Viewed in turns as either a fracture from or a continuation of pop art and the pictorial techniques of its precursors, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, hyperrealism is the ultra-realistic representation of a person, object or scene… no one subject is favoured over any other and each artist has their own individual style.

The term hyperrealism, although it underwent massive development in the USA, is actually French in origin. The Belgian art seller Isy Brachot was the first to use it in 1973 as the title of an exhibition in his Brussels based gallery, where he exhibited photo-realists from both the American and European branches of the budding movement, including Chuck Close (who specialised in enlarged passport style portraits), Ralph Goings (who at the time largely focused on cars), Richter, and Delcol.

Since then, the term 'hyperrealists' has come to mean all artists, painters, and sculptors who are influenced by the photo-realists. However, unlike those previously mentioned who favoured absolute objectivity towards the model they were capturing, now most hyperrealist painters either add or omit details which allow them to deliver a reading of the subject which is 'more truthful' than what is necessarily visible. Unlike photorealism, contemporary hyperrealist works play with the idea of narrative and manipulate the emotions of the viewer, often taking positions on social, cultural and political issues.

The movement gained particular traction in the USA, where there is a long tradition of realism in the arts. Following the first world war, themes of urban and industrial scenes (factory chimneys, buildings, water towers) in a cubist style were prevalent, almost approaching abstraction but still resolutely realist, even photorealist, at their core. American realism more broadly had its apogee in the 1930s with the great masters like Mark Twain and Edward Hopper, who offered the public a new way of approaching the everyday lives of their fellow citizens.

In sculpture, hyperrealism has seen a similarly impressive success in the art market in recent years, with statues that resemble their models so closely that it's not always clear which is which!

Duane Hanson, an American hyperrealist sculptor born in 1925, has influenced a whole generation of subsequent artists, including Ron Mueck. Beyond representing a perfect recreation of reality, his sculptures tackle contemporary social issues. Across his career he has made no fewer than 144 casts from living models:  The Man and his Dog, Supermarket Lady, Woman With Child in Stroller…

Also notable are the works of contemporary superstar Maurizio Cattelan, whose works question authorities and higher powers in their various forms: The Pope Jean-Paul is crushed by a meteorite; Hitler kneels as though repenting… 

Discover the many facets of hyperrealism in our selection of unique works, from the paintings of Richard Harper to the sculptures of Carole A. Feuerman, and many more.

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Our recommendations Pairoj Karndee, Summer winds, Painting

Pairoj Karndee

Summer winds, 2013
39.4 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch


Aranthell, 0,156 kg, Painting


0,156 kg, 2013
31.5 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Kyliss, Sans titre 4.4.2, Drawing


Sans titre 4.4.2, 2017
51.2 x 38.2 x 1.2 inch


Rob Hay, N° 1, Painting

Rob Hay

N° 1, 2007
53.9 x 47.6 x 1.6 inch


Henri Sarla, Girl With Go Cart, Painting

Henri Sarla

Girl With Go Cart, 2014
31.5 x 31.5 x 1.2 inch


Christian Gaillard, Grosella y Oro, Painting

Christian Gaillard

Grosella y Oro, 2015
63.8 x 44.9 x 1.6 inch


Ivan Franco, Pseudólogo 3, Painting

Ivan Franco

Pseudólogo 3, 2016
3.9 x 3.9 x 1.6 inch


Christine Thery Demore, Rayures, Painting

Christine Thery Demore

Rayures, 2016
31.5 x 31.5 x 0.8 inch


Sémine Yang, Grande Hirondelle et chiendent, Painting

Sémine Yang

Grande Hirondelle et chiendent, 2017
47.2 x 63 x 1.2 inch


Jean-Marie Cherruault, Absinthe, Painting

Jean-Marie Cherruault

Absinthe, 2018
16.9 x 20.1 x 0.4 inch


Anthony Vérot, Mélissa, Painting

Anthony Vérot

Mélissa, 2015
36.2 x 28.7 inch


Till Rabus, Cadavre Exquis N°3, Painting

Till Rabus

Cadavre Exquis N°3, 2016
23.6 x 17.7 x 2 inch


Yannick Fournié, The Boxer, Painting

Yannick Fournié

The Boxer, 2014
63.8 x 44.9 inch


Berit, Mes petits secrets, Sculpture


Mes petits secrets, 2017
30.7 x 9.8 x 9.8 inch


Saturno Buttò, Alice ed Elisa, Painting

Saturno Buttò

Alice ed Elisa, 2016
31.5 x 31.5 x 3.9 inch


Alberto Bali, Diogène, Painting

Alberto Bali

Diogène, 2015
78.7 x 63 x 0.8 inch


Jean-Robert Drouillard, Mon mammifère préféré (coyote), Sculpture

Jean-Robert Drouillard

Mon mammifère préféré (coyote), 2017
55.1 x 16.9 x 12.2 inch


Iñigo Sesma, Patern I, Painting

Iñigo Sesma

Patern I, 2017
27.6 x 19.7 x 1.2 inch


John De Andrea, Seated Figure, Sculpture

John De Andrea

Seated Figure, 1973
33 x 25 x 54 inch


Alexandrine Deshayes, Urban Jungle II, Painting

Alexandrine Deshayes

Urban Jungle II, 2013
51.2 x 38.2 x 0.8 inch


Joseba Muruzábal, Totem I, Painting

Joseba Muruzábal

Totem I, 2015
75.6 x 37.4 x 1.2 inch


Arin Dineen, Quodlibet (light hearted composition), Madrid, Painting

Arin Dineen

Quodlibet (light hearted composition), Madrid, 2016
14 x 24 inch


Louis Treserras, Le divan rouge, Painting

Louis Treserras

Le divan rouge, 2016
23.6 x 35.4 x 2 inch


Karuna (Din) Panumes, Bodhi Reflections, Painting

Karuna (Din) Panumes

Bodhi Reflections, 2015
61 x 45.7 x 1.2 inch


Thomas Saliot, New York girls cigarette n phone, Painting

Thomas Saliot

New York girls cigarette n phone, 2015
63 x 70.9 x 0.8 inch


Thomas Saliot, The green pot, Painting

Thomas Saliot

The green pot, 2015
38.6 x 57.5 x 0.4 inch


Emilie Pannier, Five, Painting

Emilie Pannier

Five, 2017
47.2 x 31.5 x 1.2 inch


Charlotte Champion, Dark shadows, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Dark shadows, 2017
68.5 x 11.8 x 15.7 inch


Sylvain Lang, Flamenco, Painting

Sylvain Lang

Flamenco, 2016
33.1 x 43.3 inch


Nick Lord, Danielle, Mummy and Mrs., Painting

Nick Lord

Danielle, Mummy and Mrs., 2014
70.9 x 47.2 x 1.6 inch


Aranthell, 0,426 kg, Painting


0,426 kg, 2012
35.4 x 51.2 x 0.8 inch


Kyliss, Sans titre 7.3.6, Drawing


Sans titre 7.3.6, 2015
31.5 x 27.6 x 0 inch


Brijite Bey, Buste Homme, Sculpture

Brijite Bey

Buste Homme, 2013
18.1 x 7.9 x 5.1 inch


Bluzot Philippe, SDF, Painting

Bluzot Philippe

SDF, 2016
31.9 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Richard Harper, Marie-Eve, Painting

Richard Harper

Marie-Eve, 2005
36.2 x 28.7 inch


Audrey Nervi, Hell to heaven, Painting

Audrey Nervi

Hell to heaven, 2011
11.8 x 7.9 inch


Patsy McArthur, The Shallows, Painting

Patsy McArthur

The Shallows, 2015
31.5 x 39.4 x 1.6 inch


Patsy McArthur, The Chase, Drawing

Patsy McArthur

The Chase, 2015
22.8 x 45.7 x 1.6 inch


Fabienne Labansat, Les mains 1, Painting

Fabienne Labansat

Les mains 1, 2014
51.2 x 38.2 x 1.2 inch


Jeff Chester, Rosemary, Painting

Jeff Chester

Rosemary, 2018
48 x 48 x 1.6 inch


Nicolas Clézio, Barrio, Print

Nicolas Clézio

Barrio, 2018
15.7 x 19.7 x 0 inch


Iñigo Navarro, La família del capitán, Painting

Iñigo Navarro

La família del capitán, 2017
18.1 x 21.7 inch


Mako Deuza, Sans titre, Painting

Mako Deuza

Sans titre, 2017
45.7 x 35 x 0.8 inch


Rafel Bestard, Cut, Painting

Rafel Bestard

Cut, 2018
21.3 x 25.6 inch


Gonzalo Sicre, Hotel de Suez, Painting

Gonzalo Sicre

Hotel de Suez, 2015
66.9 x 51.2 x 0.8 inch


Bevan Ramsay, You could tell he had the red spirit in him, Sculpture

Bevan Ramsay

You could tell he had the red spirit in him, 2015
26.8 x 13.4 x 11 inch


Bevan Ramsay, My father came over from England, Sculpture

Bevan Ramsay

My father came over from England, 2015
31.5 x 16.5 x 11.8 inch


Bevan Ramsay, I've been here for about three months, Sculpture

Bevan Ramsay

I've been here for about three months, 2015
23.2 x 13 x 10.6 inch


Berit, Émeline, Sculpture


Émeline, 2016
40.6 x 20.9 x 15.4 inch


Samuel Tasinaje, On the Edge, Painting

Samuel Tasinaje

On the Edge, 2017
39.4 x 35.4 x 1.6 inch


Karine Bartoli, Ibiza, Painting

Karine Bartoli

Ibiza, 2019
28.7 x 36.2 x 1.2 inch

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Marc Figueras, Ascending souls, Painting

Marc Figueras

Ascending souls, 2016
35 x 45.7 x 0.8 inch

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Marc Figueras, Conversation, Painting

Marc Figueras

Conversation, 2018
38.2 x 51.2 x 0.8 inch

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David Walker, Cafe, Drawing

David Walker

Cafe, 2017
14.6 x 12.2 inch

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Mark Dedrie, Torenvalk (Faucon), Sculpture

Mark Dedrie

Torenvalk (Faucon), 2013
63 x 4.3 x 3.1 inch

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Frédéric Baccalino, Oranges dans un pot terre cuite, Painting

Frédéric Baccalino

Oranges dans un pot terre cuite, 2016
18.1 x 15 x 0.8 inch

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Jérôme Romain, Halloween Taxi, Painting

Jérôme Romain

Halloween Taxi, 2016
31.9 x 45.7 x 1.2 inch

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Kamil Lisek, Girl with a shell, soap bubbles, Painting

Kamil Lisek

Girl with a shell, soap bubbles, 2010
74.8 x 51.2 inch

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Till Rabus, Cadavre Exquis N°2, Painting

Till Rabus

Cadavre Exquis N°2, 2016
21.7 x 15.7 x 2 inch

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JL Jardí, Almuerzo en El Loira, Painting

JL Jardí

Almuerzo en El Loira, 2017
28.7 x 21.3 x 1.2 inch

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60 Artworks on 63

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