Terms for abstract figuration?

Something The Art Genome Project has been discussing for a while: What might be a more developed and systematic vocabulary for explaining the range of figuration between photorealism and non-objective abstraction? Art History has not yet supplied this--in general, much of this kind of work has been historically summarized as "primitivist." One could argue that the emphasis on non-figurative work throughout much of the 20th century is to blame, however it's a problem still, and one which, since renewed attention (to say the least) has been paid to figurative work since the 1970s, affects our understanding of contemporary art.