TABLE OF CONTENTS

AN ICONOGRAPHY OF RECENT FIGURATIVE PAINTING: SEX, DEATH, VIOLENCE AND THE APOCALYPSE

The method of our time is to use not a single model but multiple models for exploration—the technique of the suspended judgment is the discovery of the twentieth century as the technique of invention was the discovery of the nineteenth.

Marshall McLuhan

THIS INFORMAL ICONOGRAPHIC SURVEY, begun several years ago, focuses primarily on American figurative painting from the late 1970s to the present. I have chosen to concentrate on the work that was the original impetus for this study and, with some exceptions, on artists who have been painting in a figurative mode for a considerable number of years.

The “pluralism” of the 1970s appears to have been the result of an artistic hand grenade lobbed into the unified surfaces, gestalt images, and singular critical mode of the preceding decade. Thus far, the figurative painting that has dominated the early 1980s attempts to construct meaning from the

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