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The World New Made

Figurative Painting in the Twentieth Century

Timothy Hyman


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 20th century


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 twentieth-century art. 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.’

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'A thing of beauty'
Sunday Times

'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 – its most brain-tickling'
Observer (Peter Conrad's Books of the Year)

'Magnificent ... will change forever our sense of the “story” of modern art '
Gabriel Josipovici

'Highly original ... there are brilliant insights and connections on every page'
David Bindman

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 26.0 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Publication date: 10 February 2022

ISBN: 9780500296530

Contents List

Introduction: Painting and Experience in the Twentieth Century
1. After Cubism: Reinventing the Language of Representation
2. After Expressionism: ‘The New Thingness’
3. First-Person Painting
4. Beyond the Formalist Canon: Visionaries, Dreamers, Outsiders
5. After Abstract Expressionism: Towards a New History Painting
Epilogue: Continuous Narratives

About the Author

Timothy Hyman is an art critic and historian, as well as a painter. He was elected a Royal Academician in 2011 and is an honorary research fellow at the University of London. He is the author of Bonnard and Sienese Painting, both published by Thames & Hudson.