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Painting People: Figure Painting Today

by Charlotte Mullins

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Now available in paperback After a century in which the lexicon of artists' materials expanded from the classic oil, canvas, stone and plaster to include photography, film, performance, found objects and concepts, the spotlight has finally swung back. A new generation of artists--as well as some who never abandoned figurative painting in the first place--is relishing the solitary, slow, subtle set of processes involved in not just painting, but painting people. They are choosing paint's unique ability to distill a lifetime of events rather than photography's glimpse of a frozen moment. Painting People, edited by the prominent London art historian and critic Charlotte Mullins, unites and contrasts the work of a key group of artists from around the world and investigates their richly varied accomplishments in lucid text with detailed commentaries accompanied by more than 150 reproductions. The list of contributing artists is stellar, ranging from photo-based painters like Luc Tuymans, Peter Doig and Marlene Dumas to Pop artists like Sigmar Polke and Alex Katz, photorealists like Chuck Close and Gerhard Richter, Neoexpressionists like Cecily Brown and comics-inspired painters like Yoshitomo Nara, Inka Essenhigh and Takashi Murakami. There are erotic grotesques from John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, meditations on the muse by Elizabeth Peyton and Lucian Freud, "Repro-realistic" work from Neo Rauch and of course self-portraits by Philip Akkerman and Marcel Dzama, among others.… (more)
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Now available in paperback After a century in which the lexicon of artists' materials expanded from the classic oil, canvas, stone and plaster to include photography, film, performance, found objects and concepts, the spotlight has finally swung back. A new generation of artists--as well as some who never abandoned figurative painting in the first place--is relishing the solitary, slow, subtle set of processes involved in not just painting, but painting people. They are choosing paint's unique ability to distill a lifetime of events rather than photography's glimpse of a frozen moment. Painting People, edited by the prominent London art historian and critic Charlotte Mullins, unites and contrasts the work of a key group of artists from around the world and investigates their richly varied accomplishments in lucid text with detailed commentaries accompanied by more than 150 reproductions. The list of contributing artists is stellar, ranging from photo-based painters like Luc Tuymans, Peter Doig and Marlene Dumas to Pop artists like Sigmar Polke and Alex Katz, photorealists like Chuck Close and Gerhard Richter, Neoexpressionists like Cecily Brown and comics-inspired painters like Yoshitomo Nara, Inka Essenhigh and Takashi Murakami. There are erotic grotesques from John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, meditations on the muse by Elizabeth Peyton and Lucian Freud, "Repro-realistic" work from Neo Rauch and of course self-portraits by Philip Akkerman and Marcel Dzama, among others.

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