Picturing People

The New State of the Art



ISBN: 9780500239384 Category:

Charlotte Mullins


Figurative art is currently riding high. Contemporary works of figuration grace the walls of public institutions and commercial galleries alike. From the champions of paint such as Katherine Bernhardt and Adrian Ghenie to photographic artists such as Gillian Wearing and Cindy Sherman; from the drawings of Charles Avery to Grayson Perry’s tapestries and Kara Walker’s silhouettes; artists from diverse backgrounds working in a range of media are exploring new ways to depict the human form.

This accessible, perceptive introduction features recent work by seventy new artists, all of whom successfully employ the figure to help make sense of the world we live in. Picturing People explores the reasons behind this resurgence and considers what the figure means to the artists who use it. Some ask questions about how marks coalesce into figures. Some draw on photographic imagery, some on art’s own history to make sense of the digital present. Some seem to be influenced by scientific developments or philosophy as they invent parallel worlds; while others deliberately lose the individual in critiques of capitalist or communist socio-economic models.

Additional information

Weight 1270 g
Dimensions 23.6 x 28.1 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 November 2015
Number of pages 192
Format Hardback
Dimensions 23.6 x 28.1 cm
Weight 1270 g


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Charlotte Mullins is an art critic, writer and broadcaster. She has worked as the arts editor of the Independent on Sunday, the editor of Art Review, the V&A Magazine and Art Quarterly, and has written over ten books, two of which are art books for children, which were published under the pen name Charlie Ayres.