The Enduring Appeal of Figurative Art, from the 1940s to Today

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Salvador Dalí once mused, “We are all hungry and thirsty for concrete images. Abstract art will have been good for one thing: to restore its exact virginity to figurative art.” Though figurative modes of painting were repeatedly declared "dead" throughout the abstraction-enthused decades of the 20th century — such imagery instead found new and exciting forms in the inventive work of artists including Alice Neel and Wayne Thiebaud. In recent years, figurative art has seen a remarkable resurgence in the acclaimed practices of artists such as Kerry James Marshall and Toyin Ojih Odutola. Click ahead to see highlight from Sotheby’s upcoming Contemporary Curated auction (1 March) that showcase the powerful legacy of figuration from the 1940s to today.

The Enduring Appeal of Figurative Art, from the 1940s to Today

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