Vernacular

John Baeder: Immortalizing the American Roadside Diner
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John Baeder: Immortalizing the American Roadside Diner

John Baeder is renowned for his realist paintings of Americana, particularly diners. But unlike many other landscape painters of the early 1970s, Baeder was deeply connected to his chosen subject matter. His work is part of the Photorealist movement of the late 1960 and 1970s. Baeder wouldn’t describe himself as a photorealist, though. He describes himself as a representational landscape painter, focusing mainly on diners, streetscapes, cars, and Americana.

Photorealism: Why paint a photograph when you have a photograph?
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Photorealism: Why paint a photograph when you have a photograph?

The photorealist movement of the 1960s was a moment of intersection for painting and photography. It uses photos of the built environment as the starting point for perfectly detailed and realistic painting. Photorealist subject matter usually reflects the American cultural landscape, or the everyday landscape, including cityscapes and urban street scenes, as well as commercial strips. The modern aspects of the style were the informality of the scene, the everyday nature of the subject matter.

Edward Hopper: The Everyday Cityscape, His Way
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Edward Hopper: The Everyday Cityscape, His Way

Hopper relied on the use of light and angles to contribute mood to the story. He had an ability to capture the spirit of a building through simplification and elimination. The architecture that Hopper made the focus of his work represented low-rise vernacular structures. In fact, his indifference to skyscrapers has been called remarkable for a painter of New York architecture.

10 Alternative Words for Vernacular Architecture and Why They Don’t Cut It
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10 Alternative Words for Vernacular Architecture and Why They Don’t Cut It

You might have heard the term vernacular used to describe language – the vernacular of the region.
Vernacular is also used to describe the landscape, to classify a specific type of building common to a place, or to denote specific features on buildings or homes.
This post explains the many alternative terms used to describe vernacular architecture to help build an understanding around the word.