A Hug From The Art World is pleased to present Genre PaintingsPablo Barba’s second exhibition with the gallery. In this series of eight new paintings, begun in 2022, Barba continues to contextualize contemporary scenes in the tradition of petit genre painting. In portraying ordinary people engaged in common activities, genre painting (or petit genre) depicts aspects of everyday life and figures to whom no identity can be attached either individually or collectively, thus distinguishing it from history painting (or grand genre) and portraiture. 

These depictions can be realistic, imagined, or romanticized by the artist, while often employing familiar and frequently sentimental subject matter. In one painting, a woman, eyes closed, lies topless beside her swimming pool, reminiscent of a reclining Venus, as a pool boy working behind drags his net across the water’s surface. In another, a woman stands at her front door wearing a silk robe and nightgown, arms extended and a slight smile on her face, as she graciously accepts a delivery from the pizza guy. In another, a plumber lies on the ground supine, his hands attending to a pipe beneath the sink, while a woman in a floral dress leans against the kitchen counter above him, gazing down attentively.  Other genre scenes included depict solo figures and small groups, at times addressing the viewer, one another, or the space between.