David AbedFebruary 28th, 2011
This article is part of Chicago Art Magazine’s “40 over 40″ series.
Though the canon of painting hasn’t been dominated by the representational figurative tradition in oh, I don’t know, at least a hundred years, there are still many artists who choose to pursue that path in their work. A quick flip through recent issues of New American Painting, or a trip through River North, informs that they are no small population either. Representational figurative painters are still, however, most often outside the limelight of contemporary discourse, so we’ve chosen to highlight a few Chicagoans working adamantly within the tradition.
David Abed (b. 1967) is working to uphold the tradition of figurative realism. The School of Representational Art in Chicago, of which Abed is a noted artist, states their goal as such: “The School of Representational Art (SORA), founded by artist and instructor Bruno Surdo, is located in the heart of Chicago’s artistic River North area. The school was established to bring the great painting traditions of the Old Masters to a new generation of artists. SORA exists as a viable and traditional training ground for artists wishing to achieve excellence in drawing and painting. The instructors at SORA are the newest legacy in the atelier system of art instruction. SORA’s link to this heritage is through Richard Lack and his School of Classical Realism which stretches back to the great academic and impressionistic painting schools ofthe 18th and 19th centuries.” Abed’s work deals primarily with the nude and the still life, building narratives through traditional approaches.