A history of the abstract expressionist movement in america

Action Painting Inafter producing numerous "all-over" abstract paintings - see, for instance, PasiphaeMetropolitan Museum of Art - Jackson Pollocksupported by his wife Lee Krasnerdeveloped a radical new technique one that both Hofmann and Krasner had tried earlier called " action-painting ", which involved dripping thinned paint onto raw canvas laid on the ground using wide and rhythmic sweeps of a large and loaded brush if a brush was used or, more usually direct from the can - a far cry from the traditional painterly method whereby pigment was applied by brush to a canvas on an easel.

Byhowever, he was evolving the formula to which he was to remain faithful for the rest of his life.


Abstract expressionist paintings share certain characteristics, including the use of large canvases, an "all-over" approach, in which the whole canvas is treated with equal importance as opposed to the center being of more interest than the edges.

Both Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell can be comfortably described as practitioners of action painting and Color field painting. Clement Greenberg included the work of both Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland in a show that he did at the Kootz Gallery in the early s.

The problem was that the two main art movements of the s - namely, Regionalism and Social Realism - failed to satisfy their desire for a break with current thinking. Under the rubric of Abstract Expressionism, colorfield painters like Rothko would layer one single color plane above another on a large surface, achieving a subtly glowing field of color that seems to vibrate or dance on the one dimensional canvas.

Abstract expressionism

It is evident that the Abstract Expressionism art movement has played a significant role in defining the development of the modern art.

An example is his letter on April 9,"Letter to Sidney Janis: In the essay, Greenberg unapologetically distinguishes between an elite ruling class that supports and appreciates the avant-garde, and the Philistine masses, an unfortunate majority that has always been "more or less indifferent to culture," and has become conditioned to kitsch.

Abstract Expressionism Art Movement History

Movements which were direct responses to, and rebellions against abstract expressionism began with Hard-edge painting Frank StellaRobert Indiana and others and Pop artistsnotably Andy WarholClaes Oldenburg and Roy Lichtenstein who achieved prominence in the US, accompanied by Richard Hamilton in Britain.

De Kooning's response was to begin three other paintings on the same theme; Woman II, collection: Closely related to tachisme is Lyrical Abstractiona softer type of abstract painting, that eliminated some of the more subjective elements of Art Informel - a style exemplified by Nicolas de StaelJean Paul Riopelle and the colourist Patrick Heron In this, they were strongly influenced by the arrival of numerous modern artist refugees from Europe, whose radical approach to art opened up a series of new possibilities.

Art critics of the post—World War II era[ edit ] At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act.

Hofmann was renowned not only as an artist but also as a teacher of art, both in his native Germany and later in the U. Abstract expressionist paintings share certain characteristics, including the use of large canvases, an "all-over" approach, in which the whole canvas is treated with equal importance as opposed to the center being of more interest than the edges.

It was the first avant-garde art movement that arose from America. Rothko and Newman, among others, described their desire to achieve the "sublime" rather than the "beautiful.

Barnet Newman, an artist associated with the movement, wrote: In Paris, formerly the center of European culture and capital of the art world, the climate for art was a disaster, and New York replaced Paris as the new center of the art world.

The artists hoped that, independent of the formal language of traditional art, they would convey some kind of sublime, essential truth about humanity.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Clyfford StillBarnett NewmanAdolph Gottlieb and the serenely shimmering blocks of color in Mark Rothko 's work which is not what would usually be called expressionist and which Rothko denied was abstractare classified as abstract expressionists, albeit from what Clement Greenberg termed the Color field direction of abstract expressionism.

Clement Greenberg became the voice of Post-painterly abstraction; by curating an influential exhibition of new painting that toured important art museums throughout the United States in David Smith was one of the most influential American sculptors of the 20th century.

The movement's name is derived from the combination of the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as Futurismthe Bauhausand Synthetic Cubism.abstract expressionism, movement of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the mids and attained singular prominence in American art in the following decade also called action painting and the New York school.

MoMA Learning

It was the first important school in American painting to declare its. Abstract Expressionism is a term applied to a movement in American painting that flourished in New York City after World War II, sometimes referred to as the. The America of the s, from which Abstract Expressionism emerged, was still reeling from the collapse of world order triggered by World War II.

This was a major influence on the country's artists - many of whom still remembered The Great Depression and its relief programs like the Works Progress.

The U.S. government embraced its distinctive style as a reflection of American democracy, individualism, and cultural achievement, and actively promoted international exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism as a form of political propaganda during the years of the Cold War.

Abstract Expressionism is also referred to as gestural abstraction because its brush strokes revealed the artist's process. This process is the subject of the art itself.

The Impact of Abstract Expressionism

As Harold Rosenberg explained: the work of art becomes an "event." For this reason, he referred to this movement as Action Painting. "Abstract Expressionism" is a vague term which refers to a general movement of largely non-representative painting, which flourished in the United States during the s and s.

A history of the abstract expressionist movement in america
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