Don Eddy

b. 1944

Don Eddy (b.1944, Long Beach, CA), the youngest of the Photorealist painters, is known for his automotive subjects and paintings of reflections in storefront windows. Notably, Eddy worked at his father’s auto body shop as a teenager doing custom paint jobs, familiarising him with Southern California car culture, the airbrush as a painting tool and a working-class concern for craft. He received a BFA and MFA from the University of Hawaii in 1967 and 1969 and completed a PhD in Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. During his time as a doctoral student, Eddy continued to paint and, in 1972, gained widespread recognition.

Focused on the theme of the automobile throughout the 1970s, the reflective qualities of materials became more central to Eddy’s works at the beginning of the 1980s, showing subjects such as glass and silverware placed on shiny surfaces. In the 1990s, his style evolved to include multi-panel pieces of an assortment of images juxtaposed within a single work. Painting using a systematic, detailed process he developed early in his career, Eddy has explained he wishes to ‘force the viewer to see the act of translation from the object to the photo to the painting’. 

Don Eddy has been included in numerous critical institutional exhibitions, such as: Harald Szeeman’s Documenta 5, Questioning Reality – Pictorial Worlds Today, Kassel (1972); Photo-Realism, Serpentine Gallery and The Arts Council, London (1973); California Realist Painters, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA (1973); Hyper Realism Americain, Realism European, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Paris (1974); Picturing America: Photorealism in the 1970s, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2009); Photorealism: 50 Years of Hyperrealistic Painting (2013–2017) which started in Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany before touring to 10 locations including Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, UK; and Tampa Museum of Art, Florida; Hyperrealismo 1967-2013, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Spain (2015); HyperAmerica: Landscape - Image - Reality, Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (2015); A Feast for the Eyes, Nassau County Museum of Art, NY (2016) and Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, NC (2022).

Don Eddy lives and works in New York.

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