During the 1950s and 1960s as abstract painting in America and Europe evolved into movements such as Color Field painting, post-painterly abstraction, op art, hard-edge painting, minimal art, shaped canvas painting, Lyrical Abstraction, and the continuation of Abstract expressionism. Other artists reacted as a response to the tendency toward abstraction with art brut, as seen in Court les rues, 1962, by Jean Dubuffet, fluxus, neo-Dada, New Realism, allowing imagery to re-emerge through various new contexts like pop art, the Bay Area Figurative Movement (a prime example is Diebenkorn's Cityscape I, (Landscape No. 1), 1963, Oil on canvas, 60 1/4 x 50 1/2 inches, collection: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and later in the 1970s Neo-expressionism. The Bay Area Figurative Movement of whom David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Nathan Oliveira and Richard Diebenkorn whose painting Cityscape 1, 1963 is a typical example (see above) were influential members flourished during the 1950s and 1960s in California. Although throughout the 20th century painters continued to practice Realism and use imagery, practicing landscape and figurative painting with contemporary subjects and solid technique, and unique expressivity like Milton Avery, Edward Hopper, Jean Dubuffet, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud, Philip Pearlstein, and others. Younger painters practiced the use of imagery in new and radical ways. Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Niki de Saint Phalle, Wolf Vostell, David Hockney, Alex Katz, Malcolm Morley, Ralph Goings, Audrey Flack, Richard Estes, Chuck Close, Susan Rothenberg, Eric Fischl, John Baeder and Vija Celmins were a few who became prominent between the 1960s and the 1980s. Fairfield Porter (see above) was largely self-taught, and produced representational work in the midst of the Abstract Expressionist movement. His subjects were primarily landscapes, domestic interiors and portraits of family, friends and fellow artists, many of them affiliated with the New York School of writers, including John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and James Schuyler. Many of his paintings were set in or around the family summer house on Great Spruce Head Island, Maine.
Also during the 1960s and 1970s, there was a reaction against painting. Critics like Douglas Crimp viewed the work of artists like Ad Reinhardt, and declared the 'death of painting'. Artists began to practice new ways of making art. New movements gained prominence some of which are: Postminimalism, Earth art, video art, installation art, arte povera, performance art, body art, fluxus, mail art, the situationists and conceptual art among others.
Neo-Dada is also a movement that started 1n the 1950s and 1960s and was related to Abstract expressionism only with imagery. Featuring the emergence of combined manufactured items, with artist materials, moving away from previous conventions of painting. This trend in art is exemplified by the work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, whose "combines" in the 1950s were forerunners of Pop Art and Installation art, and made use of the assemblage of large physical objects, including stuffed animals, birds and commercial photography. Robert Rauschenberg, (see untitled combine, 1963, above), Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, John Chamberlain, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Jim Dine, and Edward Kienholz among others were important pioneers of both abstraction and Pop Art; creating new conventions of art-making; they made acceptable in serious contemporary art circles the radical inclusion of unlikely materials as parts of their works of art.