A style of painting—and, to a lesser extent, sculpture—that emerged in the early 1980s, characterized by a return to figuration in expressive, gestural, and sometimes brashly aggressive works. Though most closely associated with a group of New York-based artists that included Julian Schnabel, David Salle, and Eric Fischl, the term is also often used—not without controversy—to encompass trends in European painting at the time, including the Italian Transavanguardia and the generation of German painters born during World War II (Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz,
A.R. Penck, and Anselm Kiefer), as well as the German New Fauves. Neo-Expressionism signaled a break away from the intellectual distance, abstraction, and formalism of Conceptual art, the predominant movement of the 1970s.