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Figurative 

Since the arrival of abstract art the term figurative has been used to refer to any form of modern art that retains strong references to the real world and particularly to the human figure. In a general sense figurative also applies retrospectively to all art before abstract art. Modern figurative art can be seen as distinct from modern realism in that figurative art uses modern idioms, while modern realists work in styles predating Post-Impressionism (more or less). In fact, modern figurative art is more or less identical with the general current of expressionism that can be traced through the twentieth century and on. Picasso after about 1920 is the great exemplar of modern figurative painting, and Alberto Giacometti from about 1940 is the great figurative sculptor. After the Second World War figuration can be tracked through the work of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and the other artists of the School of London, and through Pop art, Neo-Expressionism, and New Spirit painting.
 

Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman, 1937
Pablo Picasso
Weeping Woman
1937
 
Alberto Giacometti, Standing Woman, circa 1958-9, cast released by the artist 1964
Alberto Giacometti
Standing Woman
circa 1958-9, cast released by the artist 1964
 
Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait on Folding Bed, 1963
Francis Bacon
Study for Portrait on Folding Bed
1963