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Postwar Europe saw many and diverse transformations of the way in which artists depicted the human image. Figuration and abstraction were the contending elements in a dynamic dialogue boldly visible in the work of Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet, Pablo Picasso, and their many contemporaries. Thirty-five prints, drawings, and paintings by twenty artists from continental Europe and Britain—including works on loan from private collections—illuminate the many innovations and consequent artistic tensions of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Other artists, including Joan Miró, Jean Arp, and Henry Moore added their unique perspectives to the ongoing debate. Many of these mid-century artists are currently in the process of being rediscovered, figures such as Jean Fautrier, Karel Appel, and Stanley William Hayter.

ABOVE: Joan Miró, Series II (Plate 5), 1952 (detail). Etching and color aquatint, trial proof. Lee M. Friedman Fund. © 2011 Successión Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.