It Looks Alive! Hyper-Realism at Palazzo Bonaparte

It Looks Alive! Hyper-Realism at Palazzo Bonaparte
Sam Jinks, Untitled (Kneeling Woman), 2015, Artist's collection, Image Courtesy: the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney

An astounding show dedicated to major international hyperrealistic sculpture, recounted through the most important contemporary artists

From May 26 to October 8, Palazzo Bonaparte inaugurates the summertime in Rome with a new exhibition which is meant to become a must-see in town. This show is the first of its kind in Rome and it is an opportunity to see impressive artwork from more than twenty international artists. The difference between truth and imagination, reality and representation fades away in this exhibition where art itself is at the centre of the debate.

The gallery is divided into two floors and impressive statues are scattered throughout the space in six sections, gathering the most acclaimed artists of all time. Visitors will be able to admire 43 macro-installations from 29 artists coming from different parts of the world.

Duane Hanson, Two Workers, 1993 ©Estate of Duane Hanson / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023, Photo: Axel Thünker Image, Courtesy: Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germania, ©The Estate of Duane Hanson, by SIAE 2023

In the late sixties and the early seventies, Duane Hanson and John De Andrea introduced a new idea of realism through sculptures that looked exactly like real people and inspired other artists to follow this pattern. Check out Two workers, 1993, with two human-sized figures perfectly dressed and ready to come to life.

In another session, George Segal shows us another interpretation of human nature, making use of monochromatic statues that enhance the aesthetic qualities of human shapes.

“A work of art is realistic when the intention and the reason behind its creation … is not only to confirm and inform the nature of its actual reality, but acts to clarify and transform it.”

It Looks Alive! Hyper-Realism at Palazzo Bonaparte
Carole A. Feuerman, General’s Twin, 2009-2011, Consigned to Galerie Hübner & Hübner Image Courtesy: Institute for Cultural Exchange, Tübingen

Section 3 presents Catalina and the General’s Twin, almost-alive female swimmers from the American sculptor Carole A. Feuerman and a sculpture group by Maurizio Cattelan. Here you can also spot the famous banana or Comedian by the Italian artist.

It Looks Alive! Hyper-Realism at Palazzo Bonaparte
Ron Mueck Untitled (Man in a sheet) 1997, Olbricht Collection, Image Courtesy: Olbricht Collection e Anthony D’Offay, London Photo: Joachim Fliegner, Bremen ©Ron Mueck by SIAE 2023

Other artists play with the dimensions of their statues: the sculptor Ron Mueck presents enlarged or reduced figures to emphasise the fragility of human nature and observe bodies from a distorted view. At Palazzo Bonaparte, Untitled (Man in a sheet), 1997 and Dark places, 2018, are on display.

It Looks Alive! Hyper-Realism at Palazzo Bonaparte
Kazuhiro Tsuji, Andy Warhol, 2013, Artist’s collection, Image Courtesy: the artist

The Japanese artist Kazuhiro Tsuji presents us an oversize Andy Warhol headshot statue while Zharko Basheski, from North Macedonia, surprises us with Ordinary Man, a colossal self-portrait of a man coming from the earth, a symbol of self-knowledge and existential struggles.

It Looks Alive! Hyper-Realism at Palazzo Bonaparte
Sam Jinks, Woman and Child, 2010, Artist’s collection, Image Courtesy: the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney

Sam Jinks’s Woman and Child, 2010, represents the body on a scale less than 1:1 to reinforce the idea of vulnerability and transience, signalling the passing of time.

Animals are also protagonists of this exhibition: you will find statues representing animal beasts as result of mutations, breeding, and hybrids. A violet octopus and a giant yellow snake Carsten Höller together with an entire mirrored room surrounded by hundreds of pigeons will be part of the hyper realistic experience.


Until 8 October 2023

Palazzo Bonaparte

Piazza Venezia, 5

Opening hours: Daily, 10 am – 8pm; From July 3rd 11 am – 9pm

Tickets: Full 17.50€ – Reduced 9.50-16.50€

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