Neo-Geo. Term (short for Neo-Geometric Conceptualism) applied to the work of a group of American artists active in New York in the mid-1980s who employed a variety of styles and media but were linked by the fact that their paintings, sculpture, or other products were predominantly cool and impersonal, in reaction from the emotionalism of Neo-Expressionism. Jeff Koons, who exhibited consumer products such as vacuum cleaners in a reworking of Dada ready-mades, is the best-known figure of the group. Others include Haim Steinbach (1944– ), who creates kitsch-like still-lifes, and Philip Taaffe (1955– ), who paints geometrically-patterned pictures parodying earlier styles such as Op art. Another abstract painter, Peter Halley (1953– ), has been described as ‘the chief theorist of Neo-Geo’ ( Daniel Wheeler, Art Since Mid-Century, 1991). Many critics have seen the work of these artists as cynical and empty (‘dead on arrival’ is one memorable description), but Neo-Geo has been a hit with certain collectors, notably Charles Saatchi, who has bought it in bulk.
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