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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting selection., December 5, 2006
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This review is from: Painting People: Figure Painting Today (Hardcover)
London art historian and critic, Charlotte Mullins', extensive selection indicates just how strong the art of portraiture and the figure are in contemporary art. Particularly in light of how much drawing, and the figure in general, fell out of favour during the 20th Century.

All the big players are here: Close, Freud, Borremans, Richter, Nara etc. alongside the lesser known. The works of 80+ artists are featured, typically with two, sometimes more, representative pieces per artist, in full-colour.

The collection centres around works created in the last six years, with the artists grouped together by various themes:
The Figure Unravelled - Close, Freud, Akkerman etc.
The Urban Condition - Eggerer, Evans, Fischl...
Other Worlds - Mutu, Doig, Takano...
Folk Tales - Condo, Schutz, Howard...
The Past Deconstructed - Borremans, Brown, Xiaogang...
with all styles represented from photorealists, Neo-Expressionists, Comic-Inspired, self portraits etc.

On the copy I have the index pages appear to have shifted slightly during printing leading to the text being ghosted. However that doesn't appear to have occured elsewhere, although I'm not 100% sure about that. Also I would have preferred the details of art media, dimensions etc to have be placed alongside the piece as opposed to being collected in an appendix.

It's an interesting selection accompanied by insightful text from Mullins. It certainly provides a good foundation from which to explore the world of contemporary figure/portraiture. Although I am left with the question "Is this really the best of what's out there?" as a number of works I didn't care for. Each to their own :-)

Recommended.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 9, 2007 6:48:29 AM PDT
Margaret says:
No, this is not the best that's out there. This represents only the artists who know the right people, and well connected to begin with, and have worked on their marketing skills. Hate to be cynical but its true. There are lots of other good, nay better, figurative painters.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 11:54:01 AM PST
anteros says:
Postmodernism is young and there is no best when it comes to art. There's merely preference. "This represents only the artists who know the right people, and well connected to begin with, and have worked on their marketing skills." That applies to most artists who become canonical to art history. Afterall, art is a profession too.
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