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Title: Neo-expressionism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 20th-century Western painting, History of painting, Western painting, Contemporary art, Lyrical abstraction
Collection: Art Movements, Contemporary Art
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


"Curvature", 1984, painting by Peter Angermann, on display at the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt.

Neo-expressionism is a style of late-modernist or early-postmodern painting and sculpture that emerged in the late 1970s. Neo-expressionists were sometimes called Neue Wilden ('The new wild ones'; 'New Fauves' would better meet the meaning of the term). It is characterized by intense subjectivity and rough handling of materials.[1]

Neo-expressionism developed as a reaction against Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, James Ensor and Edvard Munch. It is also related to American Lyrical Abstraction painting of the 1960s and 70s, The Hairy Who movement in Chicago, the Bay Area Figurative School of the 50s and 60s, the continuation of Abstract Expressionism, New Image Painting and precedents in Pop painting.[2]


  • Art market 1
  • Critical reception 2
  • Neo-expressionism around the world 3
    • Germany 3.1
    • United States 3.2
    • Austria 3.3
    • France 3.4
    • Poland 3.5
    • India 3.6
    • Italy 3.7
    • United Kingdom 3.8
    • Iraq 3.9
    • South Africa 3.10
    • Spain 3.11
    • Venezuela 3.12
    • Brazil 3.13
    • Mexico 3.14
    • Cuba 3.15
    • Australia 3.16
    • Sweden 3.17
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • External links 7

Art market

Neo-expressionism dominated the art market until the mid-1980s. The style emerged internationally and was viewed by many critics, such as Achille Bonito Oliva and Donald Kuspit, as a revival of traditional themes of self-expression in European art after decades of American dominance. The social and economic value of the movement was hotly debated.

Critical reception

Critics such as Benjamin Buchloh, Hal Foster, Craig Owens, and Mira Schor were highly critical of its relation to the marketability of painting on the rapidly expanding art market, celebrity, the backlash against feminism, anti-intellectualism, and a return to mythic subjects and individualist methods they deemed outmoded. Women were notoriously marginalized in the movement, and painters such as Elizabeth Murray and Maria Lassnig were omitted from many of its key exhibitions, most notoriously the 1981 "New Spirit in Painting" exhibition in London which included 38 male painters but no female painters.

Neo-expressionism around the world


United States






United Kingdom


South Africa








See also


  1. ^ Chilvers, Ian and John Glaves-Smith. A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford University Press (2009), p. 503
  2. ^ Chilvers, Ian and John Glaves-Smith. A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford University Press (2009), p. 503-504


  • Alfirevic, Djordje (2012). Expressionism as The Radical Creative Tendency in Architecture. Arhitektura i urbanizam, no.34: 14–27.

External links

  • And then it went boom, on the neo-expressionist "Neuen Wilden" artists
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