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New Figuration (Spanish: Nueva Figuración) was an art movement that emerged in Spanish-speaking countries during the aftermath of World War II. It was particularly prevalent from the 1960s to the 1970s in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and to a lesser extent in Europe, principally in Spain.


The origins of New Figuration are traced back to the 1950s, when Abstract Art and Expressionism were popular among artists from Spanish-speaking countries. After World War II, during the 1960s, artists from Latin-America lost interest for Informalism, Expressionism and traditional Abstract Art because their style wasn't enough to represent the current social distress or show the world a social or political message. This spawned a revival of Figurative Art, that would represent each country's social, political and economical situation.

As this is a wiki for Aesthetics, the problems that happened in each country won't be explained in depth.


In Argentina, Neo-Figurative artworks were mainly about the political situation of the country at the time. The president of Argentina (Juan Perón) was overthrown, and a new president was elected (Arturo Frondizi Ércoli), however he became corrupt and broke his promises, leading to massive waves of violent strikes throughout the country. Around the late 1950s, Argentina had really serious problems regarding its economy and national debt. In 1959, the supporters of the former president Juan Perón were planning a extremely violent revolt, however the police seized their weapons.
Argentine New Figuration is associated with the Otra Figuración art movement, founded in 1961, which advocated for a Figurative art revival, as Abstract art (which was the current artistic trend at the time) didn't feature human figures to represent the current political situation of the country.


In Colombia, Colombian artists used this style to challenge political oppression, and as a response to La Violencia, a Colombian civil war that lasted 10 years. Colombian New Figuration was heavily inspired by Cubism, rather than traditional Abstract Art.


In Mexico, Neo-Figurative artworks were used as an response against Mexican Muralism; an art project by the Mexican government during the Mexican Revolution.


In Venezuela, Neo-Figurative artworks were mainly about the militar regime in Venezuela that ended in 1958; and Venezuela's new democratic government which had socialist tendencies, upsetting many of the Venezuelan people.


In Spain, Neo-Figurative artworks were mainly about Francisco Franco's dictatorship and the post-Spanish civil war period. Due to the Francoist regime, the media (including art, books, movies, etc.) was heavily censored, and many artworks had to be published in foreign countries where exiled Spaniards went for a better life.
In Spain, New Figuration was popular until 1965, when it was replaced by Narrative Figuration; a similiar artistic movement that also became popular in France and would use abstract and surrealistic elements to narrate stories (as the name implies).


The visuals motifs of New Figuration are loosely defined, as they were meant to represent social and political problems in certain countries (such as wars, dictatorships, poverty, post-war trauma, etc.) However, the main motifs of the New Figuration visuals represent human bodies and abstract political messages, along with satirized representations of politicians and war, and other surrealistic elements.

"I would like my paintings to look as if a human being has passed through them, like a snail, leaving a trace of human presence and a trace of past events, like the snail leaving its slime."
- Francis Bacon



  • Luis Felipe Noé
  • Jorge de la Vega
  • Ernesto Deira
  • Rómulo Macció
  • Fernando Botero
  • Débora Arango
  • Antonio Segui
  • Jose Luis Cuevas
  • Jacobo Borges
  • Roberto Obregón
  • Roser Bru
  • Ignacio Pérez-Jofre
  • Xaime Quessada
  • Urbano Lugris
  • Alfonso Sucasas
  • Francis Bacon
  • Paula Rego
  • Oswaldo Viteri

Art Movements & Collectives[]

  • Otra Figuración
  • Nueva Presencia
  • Grupo Hondo