Art Term

New figuration

New figuration is a blanket term referring to the revival of figurative art in Europe and America in the 1960s following a period dominated by abstraction

David Hockney, ‘Man in Shower in Beverly Hills’ 1964
David Hockney
Man in Shower in Beverly Hills 1964
Tate
© David Hockney
Leon Golub, ‘Wounded Sphinx’ 1965
Leon Golub
Wounded Sphinx 1965
Tate
© DACS, London and VAGA, New York 2017
R.B. Kitaj, ‘Isaac Babel Riding with Budyonny’ 1962
R.B. Kitaj
Isaac Babel Riding with Budyonny 1962
Tate
© The estate of R. B. Kitaj

The term first used by the French critic Michel Ragon, sometimes argued that the move back to figuration occurred during an era of political and social turbulence in Europe and America.

Artists David Hockney and Leon Golub can be seen as examples of new figuration.