Dustin Neece, Girl Sitting, 2000. Courtesy of David Benrimon Fine Art.

Contemporary Figurative Painting

Since the beginning of art history, artists have painted the objects, landscapes, and people surrounding them. While abstract painting rose to prominence in the 20th century—with movements like Cubism, Minimalism, and Abstract Expressionism pushing the boundaries of what could fill a canvas—figurative painting found its resurgence toward the end of the 20th century, when artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, and Lucien Freud invented new ways to present the human body. Today, the discipline of figurative painting is as vital as ever before, as artists continue to push for greater representation in art. Below, discover a selection of unique figurative paintings—from the whimsical female forms of Walasse Ting to the fluttering butterflies of Hunt Slonem.

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