Re-envisioning Everyday Spaces: Photorealism in the San Francisco Bay Area


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


History of Art


Using the work of West Coast artists Robert Bechtle, Ralph Goings, and Richard McLean, this project examines Photorealism in light of the evolution of inter-media relationships and the connections between realist painting and the American landscape. Establishing these links allows re-evaluation of work that has been judged impotent, its subjects too ordinary and its rendering too precise. This dissertation argues that these three painters’ sustained attention to the everyday reflects the cultural impact of transformations in the built environment and middle class American lifestyles in the postwar era. It reclaims a space for works that reveal much about their era, the allegiances of critics, and how works of art are connected to the sites of their making.