Dates: 1978-1990

Origin: Europe, United States

Key Artists: Philip Guston, Julian Schnabel

A movement in painting, and to a lesser degree sculpture, which emerged in the late 1970s and was firmly established on the critical map in the early 1980s with a number of major exhibitions, especially ‘A New Spirit in Painting’ held at the Royal Academy, London in 1981. The paintings are typically on a large scale, rapidly executed, and display a raw, expressive approach to their materials. Objects such as straw or broken crockery may be embedded in the paint surface. Subject-matter is usually figurative but often infused with a spirit of pessimism. Neo-Expressionism has enjoyed particular success in Germany (Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz) and the USA (Julian Schnabel).

“Neo-Expressionism.” The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <>

Julian Schnabel

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