new-york

Annette Oko

Andre Zarre Gallery

A painter whose recent work shows how relevant contemporary realism can be is Annette Oko. For the last 12 years Oko has concentrated on doing paintings of different storefronts in her Upper West Side neighborhood. An odd choice, you say? Not really Since the turn of the century the storefront has come to symbolize modern urban life. During the ’30s and ’40s, it turned up as the subject or as part of the background in the work of numerous painters, most notably Reginald Marsh and Edward Hopper. After World War II, the storefront again gained the attention of the art world with the rise of Pop art (one need only think of Red Grooms’ parodies), and during the mid ’70s, the period when Oko started doing her paintings, it emerged as a popular motif in the Photorealist repertory.

Although she does photograph the storefronts she depicts, and uses projected slides as a shortcut to scaling up her

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