Neo-Expressionism


     The
term neo-expressionism describes the art movement that dominated the art market
in the early and mid 1980ís. The word "neo" refers to a revival of
previous ideas or trends. Expressionism was a style from around the time of

World War 1 that was highly personal, and was often executed with violent
fervor. Neo-expressionism is similar, and also generally uses bright colors,
recognizable objects (such as the human body) with distorted representation,
great expression of emotion, and often commentary on social issues. It usually
is not realistic. The common subject matter often deals with the negative
aspects of life: vulgarities, violence, cynicism, and brutality. It is full of
symbolism, and is considered figurative and gestural. A varied assemblage of
young artists portrayed the human body in reaction and in contrast to the
remote, introverted, and highly intellectualized abstract art production in the

1970ís. The original goal of these artists was to depict emotional and
psychological concerns of themselves and their times. This is often achieved by
using heavy black outlines to express anger and hostility in addition to strong
contrasts of the bold colors. Other artists explored color and abstraction to
express spiritual and/or mystical ideas. Other common traits presented in
paintings of this style included: a rejection of traditional standards of
composition and design, the use of vivid but jarringly banal color harmonies,
and a simultaneously tense and playful presentation of objects in a primitivist
manner that communicates a sense of inner disturbance, tension, alienation, and
ambiguity. This movement was also linked to and in part generated by new and
aggressive methods of salesmanship, media promotion, and marketing on the part
of dealers and galleries. It was controversial both in the quality of its art
products and in the highly commercialized aspects of its presentation to the
art-buying public. There are several artists that dominated and accurately
represented neo-expressionism. Some of these artists are Sandro Chia, Georg

Baselitz, Immendorff, Francoise Arthus, David Salle, and Terry Marks. The 5
elements of art are easy to recognize in this style of art. Line is used to
create the shape that represents the objects of recognizable nature in the
painting. The use of Color is quite obvious. Because most colors are bold and
contrasting, a lot of times there arenít a lot of variations in value. The
colors used often add to the non-realistic elements of the painting. Texture
isnít a big issue in neo-expressionist paintings, though. Personally, I really
like this style. Itís easy for me to relate to it, and to create my own
paintings representative of it. I like the colors used, and the freedom to
express emotion and feeling. There really are no limits to what you can do with
this style.

Bibliography

The 20th Century Art Book. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996. brommer,

Gerald F. Discovering Art History. 3rd Ed. Worchester, MA: Davis Publications,

Inc., 1997. Neo-expressionism. [Online] Available http://www.optonline.com/comptons/ceo/26699_Q.html,

April 4, 2000. Encyclopaedia Britannica | article page. [Online] Available
http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/idxref/7/0,5716,583318,00.html, April

4, 2ooo. ArtsNet Minnesota: inner Worlds Vocabulary. [Online] Available http://www.artsnetmn.org/inner/iwvocab.html,

April 4, 2000 Avignon et Provence Ė Francoise Arthus. [Online] Available
http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/avi/gb/expo/artiste/arthus/loacoon.htm, April

4, 2000. Terry Marks. [Online] Available http://www.artincontext.org/LISTINGS/IMAGES/FULL/3/P5BV6O3T.htm,

April 4, 2000.