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Opening Day

Under Pressure: Painting with Air
A Survey of Contemporary Airbrush Realism

Sunday, October 24 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

View the Museum’s newest exhibition, Under Pressure: A Survey of Contemporary Airbrush Realism.

The airbrush — a hand-held instrument that uses compressed air to spray paint in a controlled manner — was invented in the late 19th century. But it was not until the mid-20th century that it became a popular tool for artists and illustrators to create a high level of realism in their works. Pioneers of airbrushing include Surrealist Man Ray and graphic illustrator Alberto Vargas. Later, Pop artist James Rosenquist used it to evoke the qualities of advertising in his work. As the century progressed, airbrushing fell out of fashion. But following the 2008 release of Norman Hathaway’s book, Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of Airbrush Art, this deceptively arduous technique rose to fashion once again.

Under Pressure is a survey exhibition of contemporary realism by some fifteen exceptional airbrush artists from throughout the nation and beyond, including photorealists Don Eddy, Kirk Lybecker and Hisaya Taira; still life painter Cesar Santander; and abstract illusionist George Green, among others. Organized by David J. Wagner, LLC, Milwaukee, WI.