Abstract Expressionism

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Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism


The abstract expressionism basically emerged from the United States of America in 1940's, when the country was still recovering from the disturbance caused by the events of World War II. All these events had created a very strong influence on the artists of the country. The following paper discusses the development and characteristics of Abstract Expressionism.


The abstract expressionism is common in the New York School and the Color Field Painting. A number of the Abstract Expressionists used to live in the city of New York. They generally used to meet at Cedar Tavern which was in Greenwich Village. This is why this movement is also usually referred by many as the New York School. There were a lot of artists who also used to meet even through the times of Depression for Works Project Administration or WPA, program that was established by the government in order to pay the artists by giving them chance to paint murals on a number of government buildings (www.theartstory.org).

It is also known as the Gestural Abstraction. The reason behind is that the strokes of the brush in abstract expressionism reveal the process of the artist. This process is most of the time, the subject of the main art itself. According to Harold Rosenberg, if we keep abstract expressionism as the basic context then the work and the theme of the art transforms into an event. Due to this reason, in the year 1952, Rosenberg dubbed the famous movement Action Painting (www.theartstory.org). The art historians of today's world believes that focus on action would eventually be responsible for leaving out the other area of abstract expressionism such as the chance vs. control. This is the reason that all the historians should keep in their mind to acknowledge the basis of the Abstract Expressionism that it has originated from three main sources which are: the abstraction of Kandinsky, the reliance of Dadaist on chance and the endorsement of the theory of Freudian by Surrealist which revolves around the significance and importance of dreams and the authenticity and validity of ego (www.theartstory.org).

Pollock was born in the year 1912. He was an American painter and was one of the most prominent and notable figure of the movement of Abstract Expressionist. He is also known by many as “Jack, the dripper”. He used to paint in a variety of ways, but around 1940s, he started to paint entirely in an abstract manner. Later on around 1947, is most famous drip and splash style was emerged. Rather than using the customary easel, Pollock used to affix his canvas either to the wall or to the floor and then he used to pour or drip his paint from above and despite using his paint brushes, he used to maneuver it with trowels, sticks or knives (Moffat, 2007). This style of Action painting was in some way similar to the Surrealist theories since both of these used to result in a rather direct revelation or expression of the unconscious and ...
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