Unrealism: New Figurative Painting
Figurative painting of the past five years, represented here by an exciting young generation of artists and vital practitioners, addresses the challenge of contemporary representation through expressionistic compositions and new techniques reflecting digital fluency.
Figuration is one of the oldest art forms, but it continually evolves, along with our changing understanding of human identity. The artists featured here often source imagery from the Internet, and draw on aesthetics developed in Internet-first channels. Digital techniques and affordances are incorporated into rendering processes with traditional media: brushstrokes are more precise, lines are sharper, and color is more highly keyed. In these works, expressionism is located more in the composition than in the paint handling.
This richly illustrated collection of figurative works is accompanied by texts that connect the present moment in painting to the early 1980s, when the emergence of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel revitalized the art dialogue after the extended dissolution of Minimalism, and to its roots in the practice of painters like Picabia.