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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

'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

'Brings together decades of critical viewing and reading into a richly thoughtful text'
Times Literary Supplement

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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.