After a century in which the range of art materials expanded to include film and photography, performance, found objects and concepts, the spotlight has again swung back to painting. A new generation of artists is relishing the solitary, slow, subtle processes involved in painting people, preferring paint’s unique ability to distil a lifetime of events to photography’s glimpse of a frozen moment.
Charlotte Mullins illustrates the work of over 85 artists. Many choose to take a wry look at the figure in scenes of everyday life, while others prefer alien life forms or parallel universes. Some focus on the human figure itself, while a rising group of young painters draws inspiration from folk art or social realism. In a world awash with images, artists are also finding new and vital ways of using the found image to explore the relationships between realism and abstraction.
The work of these contemporary champions of painting the human figure is displayed in over 200 reproductions, a lucid text and detailed commentaries, complete with artist biographies.