Figurative Art


A general category for artworks that represent recognizable material in the visible world, as opposed to abstract art. The variety of approaches to figurative art is enormous and almost as diverse as the history of art itself. In painting, figuration ranges from Photorealism (like that of Chuck Close) at one end of the spectrum to nearly abstract (like Pablo Picasso’s Analytic Cubism) at the other. For much of the 20th century, figurative painting was largely ignored by the Western avant-garde, but the course changed with the 1980s emergence of figurative painters like Anselm Kiefer, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and David Salle.