Tom Blackwell (b. 1938)
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Tom Blackwell (b. 1938)

Howdy Beef 'N Burger

Details
Tom Blackwell (b. 1938)
Howdy Beef 'N Burger
signed, titled and dated 'HOWDY BEEF 'N BURGER Tom Blackwell 1974' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
60½ x 84 in. (153.6 x 213.4 cm.)
Painted in 1974.
Provenance
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Literature
L. Meisel, Photorealism, New York, 1980, p. 104, no. 189 (illustrated in color).

Lot Essay

Tom Blackwell's Howdy Beef 'N Burger is a definitive example of American Photo-Realism; capturing the singular veracity of the everyday with fierce technical precision and rich color. Blackwell, who began his career as an abstract painter, was inspired in the late 1960s to work in a Photo-Realist style after Pop Art's embrace of mainstream consumer culture. His impeccable images of parking lots, motorcycles, and store-front windows trade Pop's critical irony for a celebration of life's unsung beauty.
Blackwell paints his scenes directly from his own carefully chosen photographs, building luminous surfaces with diaphanous washes of paint. The resulting canvases are filtered through-- and framed by-photographic reality, which Blackwell believes an essential and inescapable component of contemporary perception. In Howdy Beef'N Burger, a blue station wagon and the window of a burger joint, bathed in sunlight, become vehicles for the interplay of light, shadow and reflection. Translated and thus re-invented with Blackwell's deft brushstrokes, the geometric pattern of a hubcap, supple leather of a steering wheel, and sharp texture of gravel in a suburban parking lot are rich with tactile potential. A heightened, two-fold reality collapsed miraculously within the flatness of the picture plane, Howdy Beef 'N Burger seems to exude the thick aroma of fast food and gasoline, the rumble of engines, and the heat of sun-baked chrome.
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