Ralph Goings, American (1928 - )  

Born: May 9, 1928; Corning, CA

The history of realism in art is as old as the history of art. Throughout the development of art the issue of realism has reappeared countless times. The tradition of realism in western art allows for a very broad interpretation of realism itself. An investigation of realism in modern western art ranges from Vermeer to Ralph Goings and todays minimalist-realist art which concentrates on the verifiable physical properties of its objects. Ralph Goings work may be taken for what it is; totally noninterpretative matter-of-fact transpositions ot 35mm color slides "untouched by trope or deviation." The photograph intercedes between the subject and the act of describing it and serves to cancel "content" and emotional response.

Ralph Goings paints pick-up trucks, franchised hamburger stands and California banks with the late model trucks gleaming arrogantly in the California sun. Next season they will be new only in the painting, in twenty years they will be perfect antique pickup trucks and their sentimental value will heighten. Hence the process of nostalgia. Goings proves again and again that the place or object, no maffer how cold and stark, when vividly proclaimed within a short seasonal change, begets a larger meaning. It's a democratic triumph: all things become equal in both their power and vacuity.

As a photo realist Goings neither glorifies or censures; but his objective rendering does often reveal the visual beauty and fascination of the pictorial subject. A hamburger stand may be one of the more typical symbols of our urban sprawl and convenience culture but, as Goings' paintings show, it may also be visually engaging precisely because of its synthetic qualities and the variety of texture, light play and reflections they afford. And it is this reflectiveness in our environment that offers us an incredibly fascinating and diverse array of visual entertainment. Goings and his fellow photo realists present us with visual truths: the object's presence is enough justification to make it a work of art.

  • 1960
    • Artists Cooperative Gallery, Sacramento, California
  • 1962
    • Artists Cooperative Gallery, Sacramento, California
  • 1968
    • Artists Contemporary Gallery, Sacramento, California
  • 1970
    • O.K. Harris Gallery, New York, N.Y
  • 1973
    • O.K. Harris Gallery, New York, N.Y
  • 1977
    • O.K. Harris Gallery, New York, N.Y
  • 1961
    • 80th Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Institute, San Francisco Museum of Art, California
  • 1963
    • Kingsley Annual, Sacramento, California
  • 1964
    • Sacramento State College, California
  • 1965
    • Kingsley Annual, Sacramento, California
    • Crocker Art Association Invitational, Love Arena Show, Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, California
  • 1969
    • Kingsley Annual, Sacramento, California
    • Nevada University, Reno, Nevada
    • Directions 2: Aspects of a New Realism, Akron Art Institute
    • Art Center, Wisconsin
    • Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas
    • O.K. Harris Gallery, New York, New York
  • 1970
    • Cool Realists, Jack Glenn Gallery, Corona Del Mar, California
    • The Highway, Institute for Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
    • Institute for the Arts, Rice University, Houston, Texas
    • The Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio
    • Directly Seen: New Realism in California, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Balboa, California
  • 1971
    • New Realism, State University Museum, Potsdam, New York
    • USA West Coast, Kunstverein, Hamburgi Hannover/Koln/Stuttgart, Germany
    • Directions 3: Eight Artists, Milwaukee Art Center, Wisc.
  • 1972
    • Sharp-Focus Realism, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, N.Y
    • Phases of the New Realism, Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida
    • Documenta, Kassel, Germany
    • Hyperrealistes Americains, Galerie des 4 Mouvements, Paris
    • The Realist Revival, New York Cultural Center, New York
  • 1973
    • Amerikanischer Fotorealismus, Traveling Exhibition, Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, Frankfurt Kunstverein, Kunst-und Museumsverein Wuppertal, Germany
    • Realism Now, Katonah Gallery, Katonah, New York
    • Grands Maitres Hyperrealistes Americains, Galerie des 4 Mouvements, Paris, France
    • The Super-Realist Vision, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, Mass.
    • Separate Realities, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall, California
    • Hyperrealistes Americains, Galerie Arditti, Paris, France
    • Options 73/30, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Hyperrealisme, Galerie Isy Brachot, Brussels, Belgium
    • Amerikariske Realister, Randers Kunstmuseum, Sweden
  • 1974
    • Hyperrealistes Americains/Realistes Europeens, Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France
    • New/Photo Realism, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn.
    • Tokyo Biennale '74, Tokyo, Japan
    • Our Land, Our Sky, Our Water, Infernational Exposition, Spokane, Washington
    • Contemporary Paintings from the Lewis Collection, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
    • Selections in Contemporary Realism, Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio
    • California Climate, Root Art Center, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York
  • 1975
    • O.K. Harris Gallery, New York, New York
    • A Change of View, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Conn.
    • Super Realism, Baltimore Museum. Baltimore, Maryland
    • Photo-Realism, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas
    • Reed College, Portland, Oregon
    • Layfayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium, Lafayette, Louisiana
    • Signs of Life: Symbols in the City, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
    • Fine Arts Center Gallery State University of New York, Oneonta, New York
  • 1976
    • VI International Print Biennale, Krakow, Poland
    • Urban Aesthetics, The Oueens Museum, New York, N.Y
    • Today/Tomorrow, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Fla.
  • 1976
    • Contemporary Images in Watercolor, Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio
    • Photo-Realist Watercolors, Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase, New York
    • Art on Paper, The Weatherspoon Guild, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
    • Perspective 1976, The Freedman Art Gallery of Albright College, Buffalo, New York
  • 1977
    • Art '77: A Selection of Works by Contemporary Artists from New York Galleries, Root Art Center, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York
    • Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville, Florida
    • A View of a Decade, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
    • John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, California
  • 1977-78
    • Illusion and Reality, Australian Traveling Exhibition, Australian National Gallery, Canberra
    • Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth
    • Oueensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
    • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sidney
    • Art Gallery ot South Australia, Adelaide
    • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
    • Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
  • 1978
    • Representation of America, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
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