Abstract Expressionism Essay

1464 words - 6 pages

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism started in America as a post World War II art movement. It was the first art movement that arose from America and put New York at the center of the art world. The term Abstract Expressionism was first applied to American art in 1946 by art critic Robert Coates. It is most commanly said that Surealism is it’s predecessor because of the use of spontaneous, automatic and subconscious creations.

Abstract Expressionism gets its name from the combining of emotional intensity and self-expression of German Expressionists and the anti-figurative aesthetics of abstract schools where Futurism, Bauhaus and Synthetic Cubism came from. The term Abstract Expressionism was applied to any number of the artists in New York who each had quite different styles, such as Pollock’s “action paintings” which had a very busy feel to it, which was different both technically and aesthetically to Willem de Kooning’s grotesque “women’s series”, which was rather violent and not particularly abstract, and Mark Rothko’s block work which was not very expressionistic, but yet all three were classified as Abstract Expressionists.

Still although different in many ways they still share many similar aspects such as the use of large canvases, an “all over approach” in which the whole canvas is treated equally, every part of the canvas is important, quality of brushstrokes and textures, the use of accidents that play an important role to the entire work and the attempt to express pure emotion directly onto a canvas.

The early Abstract Expressionists went in seek for a timeless and powerful subject matter, and started looking at primitive myth and archaic art for inspiration. Most of the early Abstract Expressionists looked at ancient and primitive cultures for inspiration. The earliest works included pictographic and biomorphic elements referred into personal code. In a famous letter published in the New York Times in June 1943 by Gottlieb and Rothko which was assisted by Newman, said “To us, art is an adventure into an unknown world of the imagination which is fancy- free and violently opposed to comman sense. There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing. We assert that the subject is critical.”. This just says that there is basically always a deeper meaning to a painting and if there is none then it is not a good painting. They draw away from comman sense and subject matter is very important. This also adds emphasis on how art relates to a specific period in time, and what inspires it, or what reaction art has against or for an event that is happening at that time.

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko born September 25 1903 and died in February 25 1970. He was an Abstract Expressionist but denies that his work is abstract. He was born as Marcus Rothkowitz in Russia and the emigrated to the United States in 1916.

His work was based on basic emotions and mainly filling his canvases with few but intense colours using...

Find Another Essay On Abstract Expressionism

Willem de Kooning and Abstract Expressionism

1084 words - 4 pages Willem de Kooning was known as one of the major artists of the Abstract Expressionism period. In the post World War II era, de Kooning painted in the style that is referred to as Abstract expressionism, Action painting, and the New York School. Like all Modern art, the intent of these forms of art was not to produce beauty, but critical reflection. The intent was to awaken in the viewer a recognition of the specific, usually social or

Discuss reasons for, and ways in which, Abstract Expressionism was promoted as a radically new and distinctive style of painting.

2231 words - 9 pages Abstract Expressionism sprung from the social conditions of the first half of 19th Century America, a period that was characterised by the Great Depression of the 1930s, economic, social and political instability, two devastating world wars and a consequent inward turn and adoption of isolationist policies in the USA. Artistically, the era of modernism was coming to an end, and realist and Regionalist painting were still dominant. In this

The main features of Fauvism, Expressioism and Cubism

935 words - 4 pages varied in its style and appearance. Some elements of expressionism were particularly abstract. The way that the artist expressed a view or opinion to the viewer was often done with very personal use of colour and abstraction. The movement was influenced by artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Van Gogh's work was often emotion based, as were most expressionists. An artist who was particularly influenced by Van Gogh was a Norwegian painter named Edvard

Jackson Pollocks Number 1

629 words - 3 pages of colour, poured, dripped, and flung on the canvas.Art critic Clement Greenberg, Pollock's friend and a champion of abstract expressionism, suggested the name Lavender Mist for the painting originally called Number 1, 1950. Greenberg's more evocative title conveys the painting's strong atmospheric effect, though there is no lavender on the canvas. The painting is composed primarily of white, blue, yellow, gray, umber, rosy pink, and black


1229 words - 5 pages Klee. Other members of the Munich movement, such as Franz Marc, were German. The munich artists were so varied in their approach that Klee's arthas also been described as Surrealistic, a subject for another chapter. Kandinsky"s experiments led to Abstract-Expressionism, the major American movementof the 1950s, which you will read about later. It was Kandinsky who gave this group their name, Der Blaue Reiter, meaning the Blue Horseman, the title

The Meaning of Abstract Art

1098 words - 4 pages Art” and was founded to promote “collectivity in the creative process” and create a new way of teaching and creating art. (http://www.russianavantgard.com/master_pages/Master%2005%20-%20unovis.html)      Many more abstract artists followed, each with an individual approach and vision. Abstractart.20m.com divides abstract art into 3 main classifications: Abstract Expressionism, Neoplasticism and Cubism. (http

Jackson Pollock

1015 words - 4 pages very abstract styles. One style he used was Abstract Expressionism. The turning point of Pollock's career was in 1943 when Peggy Guggenheim did a solo exhibit of Pollock's work at the Guggenheim in New York City. In 1946 Pollock moved away from New York City to East Hampton on Long Island with his wife Lee Krasner. His wife was also an artist. Moving away from the city had a freeing effect on his paintings. In the late 1940's and

Self Portrait, 2007 by Chuck Close

1429 words - 6 pages ). With the Abstract Expressionism movement was created and flourished during the 1940’s after World War II, with Jackson Pollock was one of the pioneers of abstract art. When Close was 14 years of age, he seen an exhibit showing the work of Jackson Pollock and was inspired by the abstract art. Abstract Expressionism is defined as the: “movement in experimental, nonrepresentational painting originating in the U.S. in the 1940s, with sources in

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari In Relation To German

1849 words - 7 pages expressionist style to German cinema, and later went on to influence films such as Metropolis, M, and Kameradshaft. the film's lasting ability to interest contemporary viewers makes it easy to understand the film's wide influence, extending beyond Expressionism directly to the horror genre, and to other films depicting a darker side of the psyche. Firstly, it would be helpful if what is exactly meant by the word 'expressionism' is clarified

Investigate the art movement of 'expressionism'

3581 words - 14 pages otherwise altered in order to express the emotional experience in its most concentrated form.After looking at the roots of expressionism and then expressionism itself, I will continue to follow the movement through the 20th century when it fragmented and the art of the abstract expressionists came into prominence.To me, expressionism and abstract expressionism are the most interesting movements in the history of art; I'm drawn in and captivated by the

Expressionist Theatre - Explanation and History

525 words - 2 pages Expressionism started as a visual art form for an antidote to the beauty of impressionism. The point was to deny immediate perceptions of things, to analyse things then send them back as a pure but different view of that thing (it?s sometimes called ?anti-realism). I can give you a very simple example of expressionism: If I showed an impressionist a vase of flowers, they might produce something akin to ?A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers

Similar Essays

Abstract Expressionism Essay

1647 words - 7 pages Abstract Expressionism "New needs need new techniques. And the modern artists have found new ways and new means of making their statements ... the modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any other past culture." Jackson Pollock Rarely has such a massive transfer of influence has ever touched the world as did in the Paris to New York shift of the 1940's

Abstract Expressionism Essay

1376 words - 6 pages Abstract Expressionism is making its comeback within the art world. Coined as an artist movement in the 1940’s and 1950’s, at the New York School, American Abstract Expressionist began to express many ideas relevant to humanity and the world around human civilization. However, the subject matters, contributing to artists, were not meant to represent the ever-changing world around them. Rather, how the world around them affected the artist

Fauvism And Abstract Expressionism. Essay

820 words - 3 pages , demanded new and different forms of expression.Like many other modern movements, Abstract Expressionism does not describe any one particular style, but rather a general attitude; not all the work was abstract, nor was it all expressive. What these artists did have in common were morally loaded themes, often heavyweight and tragic, on a grand scale. In contrast to the themes of social realism and regional life that characterised American art of

Abstract Expressionism And Frank O’hara’s Writing

2255 words - 9 pages Abstract Expressionism and Frank O’Hara’s Writing While researching everything about American cotemporary poet Frank O’Hara, it became very apparent that art was a driving force in both his personal life and his professional writing career. This can be proved by merely trying to find information about him in the literature section in a library. Only his collected poems can be found, but much more information about Frank O’Hara can be