Critical Dialogue

Code: A0601-22

    • O

      Open to All

      Students of any skill and knowledge level.

Critical Dialog:
What’s so Real About Photorealism?

Jul 11, 2022




Photorealism involves painstaking emulation, by hand and primarily in paint, of the surface qualities of photographic images. When Photorealism emerged in the late 1960s in Europe and the United States, it was an heir to Pop, owing to its typically banal subjects and snapshot aesthetics, and a cousin of Minimalism, sharing a cool affectlessless and machinic finish. Its anomaly was its commitment to the medium of painting, at the moment of conceptual art’s rise, and further to the realist tradition, in the ceaseless wake of abstraction in the 20thcentury. More recently, artists working in a photorealist idiom have provoked the question of the status of the photograph in contemporary art and in broader cultural understandings of truth and fact. This Critical Dialog program seeks to reexamine Photorealism and to trace its lineages in art of the present day—lineages that have zigged and zagged as the status of the photograph has undergone radical shifts and re-imaginings in the realms of fine art, technology, and everyday life. Topics include trompe l’oeil; the pose; representation of people of historically marginalized identities; visual codes of taste and class; and the permeation of personal cameras in everyday life.


This workshop takes place in Schermer Meeting Hall and consists of lectures and discussions. 

Anderson Ranch is dedicated to offering opportunities to promising artists and increasing access to our programs for a diverse group of participants. A limited number of scholarships are available for this Critical Dialog program. Please contact Elizabeth Ferrill, Artistic Director of Painting, Drawing & Printmaking by Friday, June 17th if you would like to submit a scholarship application or discuss additional support options.


Anna Katz

Anna Katz is Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), where she is currently organizing the first West Coast survey of Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist. Recent exhibitions at MOCA include With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985, the first full-scale, scholarly survey of the Pattern and Decoration movement, which travels to the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in 2020; Give and Take: Highlighting Recent Acquisitions (2018); and Peter Shire: Naked Is the Best Disguise (2017). From 2015 to 2017 Katz was the Wendy Stark Curatorial Fellow at MOCA, during which time she organized the museum’s public programs. Previously a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 2008 to 2013, she holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University. Her doctoral dissertation is the first book-length study of sculptor Lee Bontecou’s oeuvre during the most active period of her production, 1958 to 1971. Katz has taught art history courses at Occidental College, Pomona College, Pratt Institute, and UCLA and has recently contributed to the catalogues Elizabeth Murray: Flying Bye (2019), Doug Aitken: Electric Earth (2016), Kerry James Marshall: Mastry (2016), and Whitney Museum of American Art: Handbook of the Collection (2015).  

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Marilyn Minter

Marilyn Minter (b. 1948, USA) is an artist based in New York. Her work has been the subject of many solo exhibitions, including a recent exhibition, All Wet, at MOCO Montpellier, France in 2021. From 2015 through 2017, her retrospective, Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty, traveled to the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (TX); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (CO); the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach (CA); and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn (NY). Her video Green Pink Caviar was on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York from 2010-2011.  Minter is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant (2006) and the Guggenheim Fellowship (1998). Minter’s work is in the collections of many museums globally, including the MIT List Center, Cambridge (MA); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (CA); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (NY); the Perez Art Museum, Miami (FL); the Tate Modern, London (U.K); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (NY); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (NY), among many others. Minter is represented by LGDR, New York, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong/Seoul, and Baldwin Gallery, Aspen. 

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John M. Valadez

John M. Valadez has been making significant artwork for over 45 years in the Southern California region. His work has come to define an iconography of Chicano experience in the city, using both the changing dynamics and reconstructing a mythical allegory that speaks to a unique vision. This has been done through numerous federal and state mural commissions throughout California,Texas, and France. Mr. Valadez had a 35 year retrospective at The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla in 2012 that was critically acclaimed. He was given a six week residency in Bordeaux, France in the spring of 2014 in celebration of the 50th anniversary Los Angeles/Bordeaux sister city art exchange. John was honored with the Vincent and Mary Price Legacy Award from the Vincent Price Art Museum in 2017 along with a distant Joan Mitchell fellowship award. Mr. Valadez was included in the traveling exhibition Building Bridges in Time of Walls throughout Mexico 2018-2020, and will be included in Traitor, Survivor, Icon: La Malinche and the Conquest of Mexico, traveling through Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas 2022-2023.

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Join Waitlist for Critical Dialog:
What’s so Real About Photorealism?

Thank you for your interest in the waitlist. When space in a workshop or program becomes available, registration will open on the website. Everyone on the waitlist will be emailed to alert them of the opening. This ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to register for the workshop or program.

Workshop Details

Lodging & Meals

Housing is limited and includes shared and private lodging options. Reservations will be managed on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you reserve housing, the better your chance of receiving your preferred option. Please note: Workshop costs do not include accommodations. 

We have established a Business Safety Plan with added layers of precaution that prioritize the health and safety of our staff, students, faculty and guests while continuing to provide you with the Anderson Ranch experience that you know and enjoy.

The Ranch Café meal plan that is included with Room and Board fees strives to provide healthy, creative meals that will nourish your artistic creativity. The meal plan includes 5 days of continental breakfasts that will include a hot offering, 5 lunches with a selection of offerings, and 5 dinners.


Scholarships, College Credit & Discounts

Making Art Accessible

Applications for scholarship support are encouraged. Specific scholarships are funded by Ranch supporters, either through endowed funds or special gifts.

Many colleges and universities offer college credit for workshops taken at Anderson Ranch. Discounts are available for students and teachers.

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