The World Made New

The World New Made

Figurative Painting in the Twentieth Century

  1. Timothy Hyman
  • ISBN 9780500239452
  • 26.00 x 19.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 256pp
  • With 158 illustrations in colour and black and white
  • First published 2016

A celebration of the richness of figurative painting over the last 100 years and a passionate critique of the accepted history of art in the 20th century

The World Made New

Figurative painting is due a reappraisal. From the early 1950s to the early 1980s, figurative painters were cast as conservative throwbacks and outdated survivors. In The World New Made, Timothy Hyman argues that figuration never went away; abstraction was just one of the ways by which artists renewed pictorial language.

‘Wonderfully concrete in detail and wide-ranging in scope, Timothy Hyman’s 'The World New Made' constructs a new and convincing scenario for the history of 20th-century painting’ – Linda Nochlin
‘It’s time that the balance was redressed, and Timothy Hyman’s scholarly and enjoyable book sets about the task with great vigour. The quality of the writing makes the reader want to look again and more closely at the artists discussed’– Spectator
‘A highly original history of 20th-century painting … there are brilliant insights and connections on every page’ – David Bindman
‘This magnificent book by a practising painter … will change forever our sense of the “story” of modern art’– Gabriel Josipovici
‘Magnificently illustrated, this is art history at its most eye-popping and also – thanks to philosophical forays in which Hyman explores identity and the friction between self and society – it’s most brain-tickling’– Peter Conrad’s books of the year, Observer

The World New Made is an in-depth exploration of over 130 specific paintings, and accompanying artists’ writings. Focusing on the work of more than fifty painters, Hyman presents a collective ‘Resistance’ of artists who together offer a human-centred alternative to the dominance of the Abstract or the Conceptual in conventional narratives of modern art.

He guides the reader through the art movements of the last century to show the development of a new kind of figuration, with Matisse, Picasso, Rousseau, Bacon, Edward Burra, Anselm Kiefer, Jack Yeats, Paula Rego, Lucian Freud, Red Grooms, Neo Rauch, Howard Hodgkin and others all staking out their separate territories.

This lavishly illustrated new book – distilled from many decades of looking and writing – brings these often-marginalized artists centre stage. Together they offer a counter-argument to Western formalism, and a foundation for the painters of the 21st century.

Timothy Hyman is an art critic and historian, as well as a painter. He was elected a Royal Academician in 2011 and is an honorary research fellow at University College London. He is the author of Bonnard and Sienese Painting, both published by Thames & Hudson.