Postwar figurative art

Despite the popularity of Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, many American artists remained committed to figural representation—with a critical edge.

1945–1980 C.E.

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Brummett Echohawk, <em>An Island of Redbuds on the Cimarron</em>
Brummett Echohawk, An Island of Redbuds on the Cimarron

Light and color take center stage in this soul illustration of the Oklahoma landscape where Echohawk and his family have lived for generations.

Ruthe Blalock Jones, <em>Medicine Woman</em>
Ruthe Blalock Jones, Medicine Woman

Bright red fringe, a pheasant and macaw feather fan, trade blankets—these meticulous details shine in this painting of a member of the Native American Church.

Charles Sebree, <i>The Mystic</i>
Charles Sebree, The Mystic

Charles Sebree expresses his inner self in The Mystic.

Romare Bearden, <em>Three Folk Musicians</em>
Romare Bearden, Three Folk Musicians

An abstract painting, a collage, three musicians, two guitars and a banjo.

Thelma Johnson Streat, <i>Girl with Bird</i>
Thelma Johnson Streat, Girl with Bird

Is the bird real or imagined?

Lin Tianmiao on Alex Katz’s <i>Black and Brown Blouse</i>
Lin Tianmiao on Alex Katz’s Black and Brown Blouse

"He enlarges private life and makes it public, catching the most touching, the most revealing, the most hidden moment ..."

George Tooker, <em>Highway</em>
George Tooker, Highway

There is no open road

Faith Ringgold, <em>Ben</em>
Faith Ringgold, Ben

Politics, experience, and humanity on the streets of 1970s New York.

Duane Hanson, <em>Executive</em>, originally titled, <em>Another Day</em>
Duane Hanson, Executive, originally titled, Another Day

Museum visitors often mistake this sculpture for a real person

Jess, <em>If All the World Were Paper and All the Water Sink</em>
Jess, If All the World Were Paper and All the Water Sink

From the Manhattan Project to nursery rhymes, a collision of art and science.

Benny Andrews, <em>Flag Day</em>
Benny Andrews, Flag Day

Does the figure emerge from the stripes of the flag, or do they imprison him?

Faith Ringgold, <em>Dancing at the Louvre</em>
Faith Ringgold, Dancing at the Louvre

Faith Ringgold’s Dancing at the Louvre is all about breaking the rules, and having lots of fun while doing it.

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