Other renowned Neoclassical artists included the German portraitist and historical painter Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-79), and the French master of the Academic art style, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867).
Art writers like the Italian Achille Bonito Oliva accompanied the development of figurative painting in the second half of the Seventies with appropriate terms such as transavanguardia, transavant-garde. This term indicated that artists and art critics were freed from the shackles of a progressive ideology which stylistically embodied examples of Classical Modernism, which needed alternating avant-gardes as a driving force. Wholly in accordance with a postmodern awareness, art in the era of transavanguardia implied “… a movement in all directions, including that of history.’ Creativity freed from all conceptual calculation was celebrated and explained: “After the self-flagellation of recent years, the artist has rediscovered pleasure in creativity beyond his own particular role, a creativity which is not being forced into novelty.”
A History of Human Art and Body Painting
Throughout history, groups and individuals have sought not only to maintain control over their own lives, but also to assert their power over the lives of others. Visual art has played an important role in documenting such conflict and resistance. It also has served as a means for expressing personal views on politics, war, social inequities, and the human condition.
Human Form Through The History Of Art
One feature of painting in the Eighties is the monumental format of many of the pictures. In Keith Haring’s work this resulted in part from his works on internal and external walls in the outside spaces of the city growing to huge dimensions (cf. the mural in San Antonio in Pisa painted in June 1989) The production of stage sets for The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (cat. no. 12) for Marseille appeared to be just as thorough as the creation of a backdrop for the Palladium discotheque (cat. no. 15) in New York. Both European and American painting of the Eighties presented emotional gesture in a large-scale format, which the opulent history paintings by Piloty or Makart equaled in every way. This is so in the works of Anselm Kiefer, Enzo Cucchi, Julian Schnabel and A.R. Penck, which reach a width of more than 10 meters. Andy Warhol’s pictures based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan surpassed, like his Retrospective Paintings had done before, large pictures from the category of outsize picture format favored by American post-war artists (Pollock, Newman). In many exhibitions in the Eighties one also sees gigantic colorful picture montages by Gilbert and George based on photographs, which may be explained as striking narrative pictures with moral and social themes, without developing the explicit sharp focus of Keith Haring’s picture narrative (cf. cat. no. 17).