New York

Bruce Cohen

Ruth Siegel

It is possible to divide the world of contemporary art into those who like realism and those who don’t. For those who don’t, realism is commonly regarded as reactionary, and realists and their supporters as the archconservatives of the art world. Realists are interested in the cultivating of technique for the sake above all else of continuing Old Master conventions of representation, the only exceptions being the Photorealists. The latter, on the basis of their elevation of the photographic esthetic—and their concomitant slap in the face to traditional realist taste—have been accepted by certain critical elements of the progressive mainstream of the art world.

These remarks are prompted by California artist Bruce Cohen’s show of recent paintings—a show that I hope represents a renewed openness toward realism. Cohen’s paintings clearly demonstrate the rich rewards that realism is uniquely

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