The Easel

Archives: Miguel Cullen

11th September 2019

Why has figurative painting become fashionable again?

A nice piece except where the writer tries a bit hard. The argument runs that, coming out of WW2 the figure was “a wreck” but it found new impetus in the desire to “bear witness to … identity’. Well, figurative painting was under siege for decades, both before and after WW2. What has changed, besides curatorial fashions, is a new appreciation of the narrative capabilities of figuration. Want to tell a story about identity? Paint someone.