The Artist Book Foundation
Figuration Never Died
Showcases artists' work featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern art, and more
Accompanies an exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Brattleboro, Vermont opening in October 2020
This publication accompanies the Figuration Never Died: New York Painterly Painting, 1950-1970 exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. By about 1950, forward-looking New York painting was seen as synonymous with abstraction- especially charged, gestural Abstract Expressionism. But there was also a strong group of dissenters; artists, all born in the 1920s and many of them students of Hans Hofmann, who never lost their enthusiasm for the seductive qualities of thick, malleable oil paint. They remained, for the most part, 'painterly' painters. These rebellious artists include Lois Dodd, Jane Freilicher, Paul Georges, Grace Hartigan, Wolf Kahn, Alex Katz, Albert Kresch, Robert de Niro Sr., Paul Resika, and Anne Tabachnick. The compelling figurative work they made between about 1950 and 1970, in contrast to the prevailing Abstract Expressionism of the time, constitutes a significant chapter in the history of recent American Modernism.