Figurative painting of the 1940’s – 1960’s retained, to be sure, a representative function, but reinterpreted colors and shapes of the real world, as figurative art of the previous decades had already done. The breadth of subjects and representational forms was broadened and kept developing new directions. For example, out of the Expressionist interest in primitive and naive art emerged a feeling for the painting of children and the mentally ill, which became known by Jean Dubuffet’s concept of "art brut", or outsider art. The group "CoBrA", which demanded the suspension of all ideas about aesthetic values, had a similiar attitude. Simultaneously, new norms were set; in the United States, Jasper Johns worked with consciously simple representations and showed articles of daily use in his pictures, such as cards or the American flag. Through the simplification and monumentalization of such everyday objects, he paved the way for "Pop Art". This style reached its climax in the 1960’s. In orienting itself toward advertising posters and comics, it sought to remind the observer of consumer society. As the portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol shows, humans also fell into this grid.
In Germany, with Polke and Richter, the concept "capitalist realism" was developed; above all Richter wanted to translate photography into painting. Giacometti on the other hand focused on his work with the human figure, but distorted it and removed its colorfulness.
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