for real

26 November 2023 — 3 March 2024

Grant exhibition hall

Does illusionist art still exist in 2023 and what themes does it deal with? These are the questions that the exhibition “for real” aims to answer.

The ability of the visual arts to imitate nature so precisely that the distinction between fiction and reality becomes blurred was a constant ideal in the history of art. In the 20th century, however, trompe-l’œil lost its appeal and was discredited as gimmickry.

Currently, a return to illusionism can be observed in art, but also in social media. The exhibition for real traces this phenomenon. Taking around 70 paintings, sculptures, drawings and pieces of jewellery as examples, it shows how artists are redefining this traditional theme for the present day.

In addition to more up-to-date technical possibilities, such as airbrushing and Photoshop, the new eye-deceiving art differs from its historical role models above all in the motifs depicted. What is striking here is a tendency to imitate rather worthless materials and everyday objects. For example, visitors to Art Museum Heidenheim will come across deceptively real-looking packaging, shower cubicles, steamed-up window panes, sparklers and raw chipboard.

Illusionism is merely a means to an end in most of the exhibited works. The deceptively real-looking depiction of dirt, wooden boards or cardboard only serves to attract attention in the first instance. On closer inspection, however, what is depicted is of little significance, but instead invites the public to take a closer look and reflect on painterly themes.


with works by:
Dean Annunziata / Johannes Bendzulla / Stefan Bircheneder / Toninho Dingl / Torben Eggers / Tom Früchtl / Sabine Groß / Lieven Hendriks / Gunther Kerbes / Jochen Mühlenbrink / Christine Metz / Julia Obermaier / Lennart Rieder / Philipp A. Schäfer / Imer Shaqiri / Jessi Strixner

Guided Tours
Download Folder
Download Broschure [German]

Exhibition Views

Share exhibition...