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The World New Made

Figurative Painting in the Twentieth Century

Timothy Hyman

£32.00

A celebration of the richness of figurative painting over the last 100 years and a passionate critique of the accepted history of art in the twentieth century

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Overview

Figurative painting is due a reappraisal. In this passionately argued volume the distinguished writer and artist Timothy Hyman cuts a new path through the tangle of twentiethcenturyart. The World New Made explores the work of more than fifty individual painters, presenting a collective ‘Resistance’ who together offer a human-centred alternative to the dominance of the Abstract or the Conceptual in conventional narratives of modern art.

Structured not as a survey but as in-depth studies of more than 130 specific artworks, this lavishly illustrated book brings these often marginalized artists centre-stage: not just Alice Neel and Balthus, Max Beckmann and Frida Kahlo, but also Marsden Hartley and Charlotte Salomon, Bhupen Khakhar and Jacob Lawrence. A rich cast is brought to life, partly through their own writings. As the author argues, ‘All across the world, isolated artists found new idioms for human-centred painting in the midst of modern life.’

Starting out from the ‘reinvention of representation’ that followed Cubism (with artists that include Léger, Chagall and Carrà), The World New Made guides the reader through the ‘New Thingness’ [Neue Sachlichkeit], where individuals as various as Dix, Grosz and Burra rejected Expressionist histrionics. A new emphasis on the artist as protagonist emerges in painters ranging from Pierre Bonnard to Stanley Spencer, while visionaries and ‘Outsiders’ (such as Rabindranath Tagore, Ken Kiff and Henry Darger) present new challenges. In the aftermath of Abstract Expressionism, in the work of artists from R. B. Kitaj to Leon Golub and William Kentridge, a new ‘history painting’ is glimpsed. This powerful new book, distilled from many decades of looking, painting and writing, assembles the free spirits who offer a counter-argument to Western formalism and a foundation for the figurative painters of the twenty-first century.

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Reviews

'A thing of beauty'
Sunday Times

'Wonderfully concrete in detail and wide-ranging in scope, Timothy Hyman’s 'The World New Made' constructs a new and convincing scenario for the history of twentieth-century painting'
Linda Nochlin

'It’s time that the balance was redressed, and Timothy Hyman’s scholarly and enjoyable book sets about the task with great vigour. The quality of the writing makes the reader want to look again and more closely at the artists discussed'
The Spectator

'Magnificently illustrated, this is art history at its most eye-popping and also – thanks to philosophical forays in which Hyman explores identity and the friction between self and society – it’s most brain-tickling'
Observer (Peter Conrad's Books of the Year)

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Further Details

Specifications

Format: Hardback

Size: 26.0 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Publication date: 6 October 2016

ISBN: 9780500239452

About the Author

Timothy Hyman is well known both as a writer on art and a painter. He was elected a Royal Academician in 2011 and is an honorary research fellow at University College London. He has exhibited widely and his work is in many public collections, including the British Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Deutsche Bank Collection. He was lead curator of Tate’s major Stanley Spencer retrospective exhibition and has written a pioneering monograph on Bhupen Khakhar. His articles have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and the London Magazine, and he is the author of Bonnard and Sienese Painting, both published by Thames & Hudson.