Lily Kuonen reviews Get Real: New American Painting, curated by Ben Thompson, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Jacksonville, Florida. The show, on view through January 4, 2015, features works by Haley Hasler, Jason John, Andrea Kowch, Bryan LeBoeuf, Jenny Morgan, Kevin Muente, Frank Oriti, and Kevin Peterson.
Kuonen writes "Consider the exhibition title 'Get Real,' a directive to stop being unrealistic, or to stop living in a dream world. This phrase could be directed towards the viewer, the paintings, the artists, or even towards the authority of painting. Perhaps it is all of the above. For the viewer it could be a call to recognize the current position contemporary figurative work has, and to consider its relevance. For the paintings and their producers, it is a declaration of style, the degree to which they adhere to realism taking into consideration craft, illusionism, mimesis, appropriation, symbolism, narrative, etc. As for the authority of painting, to 'get real,' it could be a suggestion to consider not only the historicity but also the contemporary expectations of the media. To be realistic about the fact that despite whatever manifestation painting currently explores it has license to appropriate any style, image, structure, or definition it can trace to its lineage."