What is not figurative art

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The term figurative art describes the styles of contemporary visual art in which people and things are portrayed in a recognizable manner. In her immediately comprehensible motifs, she presents landscapes, people, animals or even depictions of interiors or cities. In this context, one often speaks of representational representations. Representative art is in stark contrast to abstract art or concrete or constructive art. Painting and sculpture can therefore be divided into the categories figurative, representational and abstract, although abstract art, strictly speaking, comes from a figurative or other natural source (or abstracts becomes). However, "abstract" is sometimes used as a synonym for non-representative art and non-objective art, i.e. art that has no derivative of figures or objects.

Figurative art is not synonymous with figure painting (art that depicts the human figure), although human and animal figures are common subjects. Formal elements, the aesthetic effects created by design on which figurative art depends, include line, shape, color, light and dark, mass, volume, texture and perspective, although these design elements could also play a role in creating others Types of images - for example, abstract or non-representational or non-objective two-dimensional works of art. The difference is that these elements are used in figurative art to create an impression or illusion of form and space and usually to create an emphasis in the narrative depicted.

The figurative art itself is based on a tacit understanding of abstracted forms: the figure sculpture of the Greek antiquity was not naturalistic because its forms were idealized and geometrical. Ernst Gombrich referred to the rigor of this schematic visual language, the adherence to the allusion to the memory-based clarity of the visual language in Egyptian art, which is already known and not regarded as the "Egyptian method". Eventually idealization gave way to observation, and a figurative art that reconciled ideal geometry with greater realism was born in 480 BC. Seen in classical sculpture. The Greeks called the dependence on visual observation mimesis. Until the time of the Impressionists, figurative art was characterized by attempts to reconcile these opposing principles.

From the early Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque to painting of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, figurative art has steadily expanded its parameters. An important milestone in the development of figurative art is the first known reclining nude in Western painting in Sleeping Venus (1510) by Giorgione. It introduced the female nude as a theme and began a long line of famous paintings. Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665), a French painter in the classical style, whose work shows predominantly clarity, logic and order and prefers lines to colors, served as an alternative to the more narrative Baroque style of the 17th century. He was an important inspiration for classically oriented artists such as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Paul Cézanne. The rise of neoclassical art by Jacques-Louis David eventually led to realistic responses from Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet, which led to the multifaceted figurative art of the 20th century. In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting of an unknown animal in the cave of Lubang Jeriji Saléh on the Indonesian island of Borneo, which is over 40,000 (perhaps 52,000 years old) years old.

New figuration

The New Figuration functions as a collective term for figurative painting after the end of the Second World War; it includes figurative painting with abstract influences as well as the rediscovery and reinterpretation of realistic elements. Its name goes back to a book of the same name by the painter and critic Hans Platschek. As mentioned earlier, the current was also influenced by pre-war styles. The English “Kitchen Sink Realism” quotes the modern verism, while the fantastic realism refers to the surrealism. The artists who decisively shaped the new figuration in painting include Richard Lindner (USA), HAP Grieshaber (Federal Republic of Germany) as well as Franz Ringel and Peter Pongratz (both Austria).

From the 1960s onwards, new styles such as pop art, narrative figuration and critical realism developed. Representative art was now more and more inspired by and interacted with gestural abstraction, which formed the basis for neo-expressionism of the 1980s.

This era shaped the "new wild ones" such. B. Salomé, Jiří "Georg" Dokoupil or Rainer Fetting as well as the "New Image Painting" by Susan Rothenberg, Julian Schnabel and David Salle. By the turn of the millennium at the latest, figuration had re-established itself in the canon of contemporary art alongside abstract and modern painting. Its characteristic is the search for objectivity, but without falling back into the past, but rather shaped by a critical realism. This in turn is understood as an epistemological position, which is based on the fact that there is a real world that corresponds to a visual sensory perception, which, however, in contrast to naive realism, does not readily convey the extent to which it relates to the experiences arising from the human condition matches.