New European Painting  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
new figurative art

New European Painting emerged in the 1980s and has clearly reached a critical point of major distinction and influence in the 1990s with painters like Gerhard Richter and Bracha Ettinger whose paintings have established and continue to create a new dialogue between the historical archive, American Abstraction and figurality, followed by painters like Luc Tuymans, Marlene Dumas and others. A third wave came with artists like Neo Rauch, Michaël Borremans and Chris Ofili. Neo-expressionism and other related movements in painting have emerged in the final two decades of the 20th century in Europe and in the United States, but this New Painting is not expressionist.

Rather it is a renovative kind of abstraction and figuration that relates to the parallel practice of a turning into art of personal and historical photographic archives. The New European Painting relates to the post traumatic traces of war and it involves working oil painting and drawings with new media like photography, xerox and digital media to create and develop a postmodern archive "fever". This painting relates through this aspect to the post WW2 "archive" art with artists like Christian Boltanski and Jochen Gerz, and it is often a part of this tendency. Yet, though this painting has a clear figurative stroke it is strongly connected to Lyrical Abstraction and to contemporary reconsiderations of the Sublime in art.


  • Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Laurence Bosse and Carolyne Christove-Bakargiev, La Ville, le Jardin, la Memoire / City, Garden, Memory. Villa Medici, Rome, 1999.
  • Michael Ann Holley and Keith Moxey, Art History, Aesthetics, Visual Studies. Clarck Art Institute, Studley Press 2002.
  • Chris Dercon, Face a l'Histoire / In Front of History. Pompidou Centre, Paris, 1996.
  • Griselda Pollock, Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum: Time, Space and the Archive. Routledge, 2007.
  • Patrick Le Nouene and Jochen Gerz, Gerz: L'ouevre sur papier photographique 1983-86. Musee des Beaux-Arts de Calais, 1986.

See also

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