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The World New Made: Figurative Painting in the Twentieth Century
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The World New Made: Figurative Painting in the Twentieth Century

by Timothy Hyman
 
A bold new critique of the accepted history of figurative painting in the twentieth centuryFor thousands of years pictorial representations have engaged humankind, yet in the twentieth century, with the arrival of abstraction and the accompanying liberation of painting from figuration and bourgeois tradition, figurative painting became fraught with difficulty. For

Overview

A bold new critique of the accepted history of figurative painting in the twentieth centuryFor thousands of years pictorial representations have engaged humankind, yet in the twentieth century, with the arrival of abstraction and the accompanying liberation of painting from figuration and bourgeois tradition, figurative painting became fraught with difficulty. For some thirty years, from the early 1950s to the early 1980s, modern art and abstraction were almost synonymous, with figurative painters cast as “backward children,” conservative throwbacks, and outdated survivors.In The World New Made, critic Timothy Hyman argues that abstraction was just one of the means by which artists renewed pictorial language. Focusing on those painters who bucked tradition and opted for a new kind of figuration, Hyman presents them as a countermovement to the sometimes oppressive stylistic imperative that set in as Cubism became a movement. Around the world, artists such as Max Beckmann, Fernand Léger, Balthus, Paula Rego, Marc Chagall, Stanley Spencer, R. B. Kitaj, Philip Guston, Picasso, Matisse, Lucian Freud, and others found an idiom for human-centered painting. Together they offer a counterargument to Western formalism, but also a foundation for the figurative painters of the twenty-first century.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
12/01/2016
Abstraction came to dominate the art of the 20th century and had a profound impact on the painters of the time. Artist and writer Hyman (Royal Academician; Bonnard and Sienese Painting) here reappraises 20th-century figurative painting in relation to the hegemony of abstraction and new idioms for human-centered works. In five chapters covering after cubism, after expressionism, first-person painting, beyond the formalist canon, and after abstract expressionism, he examines more than 130 specific creations by more than 50 well- and lesser-known painters. Referring to pieces by Matisse and Picasso as "stepping stones to abstraction" and modern art as "barren of helpful examples" for aspiring figurative painters, Hyman discusses works by Francis Bacon, Balthus, Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Henry Darger, Frida Kahlo, William Kentridge, Alex Katz, Ferdinand Léger, Edvard Munch, Neo Rauch, Chaim Soutine, and many others. VERDICT Original in its presentation and assessment of 20th-century figurative painting, this publication may be of considerable interest to students, scholars, and others who possess a basic to intermediate knowledge of the subject and the period's artistic movements and intellectual history; for large public and academic libraries.—Cheryl Ann Lajos, Broward Cty. Lib., FL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500239452
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
11/15/2016
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
717,843
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Hyman is an art critic and historian, as well as a painter. His articles have appeared in the London Magazine and TLS.

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