This is Not a Photograph. Joseph Hronek at Addington Gallery

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Friday night, November 5th, 5-8pm
The artist will be present

Addington Gallery is proud to present a fascinating and powerful new body of “extreme-realism” paintings by Chicago artist Joseph Hronek. This is his sixth solo exhibition at Addington Gallery.

Joseph Hronek, Standing Figure, 12x9, oil on wood panel, 2010.

Hronek creates small-scale, hyper-real paintings that comment on ideas about perception, reality and artifice. Hronek’s figurative and “minimalist still-life” paintings draw the viewer close through their intimate associations and extreme level of detail, encouraging a visual re-examination of the quiet and commonplace.

In this exhibition, Hronek pushes his use of color further into new territory than it’s ever gone previously. Startling color combinations are present in some of the works, but subtlety is always a strength, and the quieter tonal relationships in each piece continue to reveal themselves over time and multiple viewings. The exhibition also features paintings that are rendured copletely in rich black and whitecompositions, acting almost like palette cleansers between each new course of color.

Joseph Hronek, Ultramarine Vase, 12x9, oil on panel.

Hronek is known for his fastidious attention to detail, which begins before the painting is actually started. A series of compositional studies on graph paper comprise the first step of a painting’s development, followed by further color and value studies on paper. Once the composition has been fully considered, and color relationships have been worked out, Hronek begins the final process of making the painting. This is also accomplished in stages: an imprimatura layer, followed by subsequent passages of ala-prima painting, scumbling, and glazing. The surface of the paintings are lovingly and carefully crafted into being, and this committed approach breathes a sense of life into the objects and figures depicted in the works.

Joseph Hronek, Leaning Nude, 12x9, oil on panel.

Says Hronek:

“I believe the act of observational painting is an act of fiction because the painter is taking many separate moments and combining them into one unified moment. While this may seem more apparent when using a model who is constantly in a state of flux (blinking, shifting weight, etc.), the same holds true when observing a still life object. In this case, it’s the artist whose psychological makeup and perceptual abilities change from day-to-day. One could take a single object with set lighting and do painting after painting for the rest of one’s life and never come up with the same painting. I think all painting rooted in observation has a truly conceptual component. It all starts in our heads. This is why I have remained fascinated with representational painting over many years. You can never get a complete answer to what human perception is all about.”

Joseph Hronek, Shifting Nude, 10x10, oil on panel.

The exhibition continues through December 2, 2010

For more information, please contact the gallery at 312.664.3406

Addington Gallery
704 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654