san-francisco

Robert Bechtle

Anglim Gilbert Gallery

Robert Bechtle’s Photorealistic paintings from the late ’60s quickly became classics of the genre, taking the banal icons of suburbia—American cars parked in the sloping sunbaked driveways of flat-fronted tract homes—as their subject. Bechtle has clung to the practice and theme ever since, working exclusively from daylight snapshots as the source for his images of ordinary afternoons in California neighborhoods. Even so, the artist has repeatedly burrowed in and mastered technical challenges while infusing his paintings and drawings with subtle stylistic innovations.

Bechtle’s exhibition of thirteen recent charcoal drawings found his work at a point of renewed relevance. Artists like Jeff Koons and Ron Mueck are revisiting Photorealism at the same time that Bechtle is making a refreshing shift to a darker tone, exploring a changed quality of light. Although his lonely subdivision

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