Narrative

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Applied to artworks in which a storyline, either factual or fictional, is a significant element. Before the advent of Modernism, narrative was a major aspect of Western Art, in particular due to the influence and prestige of history paintings, which presented sweeping stories from history or myth. During the 20th century, as Western art generally tended towards abstraction, stories (and to a greater extent, any subject matter) were de-emphasized in favor of formal characteristics. In recent years however, artists have reintroduced (and reinvented) narrative, cobbling together, overlapping, or remixing threads from fictional and nonfictional sources, and personal and collective histories.

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Nicolas Party, Trees, 2019. Damien Cifelli, May You Live in Interesting Times, 2022. Anna Park, It's Good For You, 2020