By People Staff
October 17, 1988 12:00 PM

by Linda Chase

It’s hard to imagine that today’s youngsters will grow up harboring much fondness for the places where they saw their first films. All those multiscreen shopping-mall monstrosities that suggest assembly lines and generate such a boorish environment are a far cry from the local movie houses Cone, 37, paints and Chase, a New York art writer, discusses in this book. Cone’s paintings are of the Hyperrealist school, which is to say they look exactly like photographs. In fact photographs might have served his purpose and saved him a lot of time, since he prides himself on duplicating the details of 43 theaters, many of them from the region near his hometown, Augusta, Ga. Moot point though—Cone’s images do capture the magical, extravagant tone of theaters that in some ways were once the focal points of their communities. His inclusion of many neighboring stores and long stretches of sidewalk adds to the effect, stressing how the “going to” was as important as “the movies.” Chase goes on for what will probably seem too long to most people, writing that, “In his translations of light, however, he [Cone] remains ardently factual. While this desire to replicate the effects of different types of light grows from the affinity he feels for the concerns of the French Impressionists, the effect of many of his paintings is reminiscent of the works of such Luminist painters as Martin Johnson Heade, Fitz Hugh Lane, John Frederick Kensett and Sanford Robinson Gifford.” For those enthralled by the nuances of difference between photography and realistic painting, Chase does provide plenty of material for discussion. And, more to the point, the paintings are just plain fun to look at. More fun, certainly, than it will be in 30 years to look at paintings by today’s children of various brands of VCRs. (Overlook, $25)

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