Neo-Expressionism: Art of the 1980s


The 1960s and 1970s witnessed what has been termed the “dematerialization” of the art object. The prevailing movements of the period favored austere expression; works with an economy of means often focused on the idea or concept rather than the object itself. In contrast, a return to the traditions of painting and sculpture characterized the 1980s.

Beginning in Germany and spreading to the United States, Neo-Expressionism comprised a varied assemblage of young artists who had returned to portraying the human body and other recognizable objects in reaction to the remote, introverted, highly intellectualized abstract art production of the 1970s.

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