Abstract ExpressionismAbstract ExpressionismBy Jason Brown, Jai Govind, Michael Ung
Brief HistoryFirst appeared in New York City after World WarAn artmovement in mid 20thcenturyThe roots of abstract expressionism goes back to Russian-born painter Wassily KandinskyEuropean painters inspired the use of Abstract Expressionism
The New York SchoolInformal group of American poets, painters, dancers, andmusicians active in the 1950s – 1960s in NYC.The artists often used Surrealism as an inspiration
InfluencesFigurative paintings of the 1930sGreat Depression EraSocial RealismRegionalistThe Museum of Modern Art
CriticismRejected the movement for its artistic valueJohn Canaday “Happy New Year”Artists had a hard time appealing to critics during the firstfew yearsThe artists were torn between independent objectives andpressures of war and societyCritics loved the main artists but hated those who tried tofollow them
Action Painting• Created by Jackson Pollock• Definition: spontaneously splattering, smearing, or drippingpaint onto a canvas• Improvised with emphasis on the act of painting• The final work was only an artistic object, not the art• Term coined by the critic Harold Rosenberg• Other notable action painters: Lee Krasner, Willem deKooning, and Franz Kline
Jackson PollockBorn January 28, 1912, in Cody WyomingFather abandoned his family when he was eight1930, followed his oldest brother to NYUsed unconventional objects and methods to paintStarted naming his works only with numbersInfluenced by Picasso, Miró, Siquieros, and the Surrealists
Pollock’s WifeLee Krasner, born October 27, 1908Started early to be an artists. 1926, enrolled at Cooper Unionfor the Advancement of Art and Science; 1928, transferred tothe National Academy of Design where she painted her firstimportant work SelfPortrait in 1930Pollock helped her mature as an artist, and she helped him alittle as well1953-1955 she made a significant technical move into themedium of collage
CriticismsMany believe his art did not take talentBruno Alfieri was one of the most outspoken criticsClaimed, “It is easy to detect the following things in all of hispaintings: chaos; absolute lack of harmony; complete lack ofstructural organization; total absence of technique, howeverrudimentary; once again, chaos.”
Franz Kline (1910-1962)Born in Wilkes, PAComplicated childhood: Father committed suicide. Motherremarried.His mother sent him to an institution afterwards forfatherless boys (orphanage).Left on his own, Kline worked as a cartoonist for his highschool newspaper.Attended Boston University. Later Heatherly’s School for Artin London.
InfluenceAfter returning to New York from London, he worked oddjobs.Much of his is early art works were shaped around the OldMasters.1943- He met Willem de Kooning and began to frequent theCedar Bar.Under the Abstract Expressionists, he abandoned figurationand adopted the gestural abstract technique.He experimented and explored black and white palette ofink on paper sketches.
StyleHe used the black and white palette technique on canvasesusing house-paint and brushes.He always used house-paint because it has low viscosity.His abstract paintings were usually of furniture like chairs,tables, and ordinary household items. Phonebooks.
ProjectorKline’s paper sketches expanded his palette techniquebecause he later enlarged those with the projector.
Color Field PaintingLess focused on the process of making the artTension created by overlapping and interacting areas of flatcolorsArea of colors can be amorphous or clearly geometricOften painted on huge canvasesBegan around 1950
Color Field Painting• Key Characteristics:• Bright, local colors• Emphasize the flatness of the canvas or paper• Tension between the colors and shapes• Interactions of shapes through overlapping or interpenetrations blursspacial distinctions• Encourages the viewer to experience the color as an enormous,
Willem de KooningBorn April 24, 1904 and died March 19, 1997Dutch-born American painter who was one of the key artist in AbExPainted both stylesWent to Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques for eight yearsHe moved to America as a stowaway in 1926Influenced by Arshile Gorky in 1938In 1940s he started his Women series and other biomorphic forms
Willem de Kooning• In 1946, de Kooning became too poor to afford supplies so he turned to blackand white household enamels• De Kooning’s style was an emphasis on complex figures• Late 1950s – early 1960s : de Kooning entered a new phase of pure abstractionand landscape• Later on in his life, de Kooning was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease
Willem de Kooning• Main techniques:• Main style was “Action Painting”• Spontaneous brushwork• Abstract shapes to represent real world items• Human figures and landscapes• Would sometimes start on his art and then finish it at a latertime
Women SeriesBegan to paint his Women series in 1950Used experiences from his life as influencesRepresented the conflicting feelings of his mother andwomanReleased his inner feelings that were locked inside of him
Mark RothkoBorn in 1903 in Dvinsk, RussiaAs a child, we remembered the local beating of Jews in hishometown.His paintings were described by many people to be likegoing to the cinema.Rothko wanted to evoke emotional response from hisviewers.
Style/FramesRothko’s paintings are thinly washed layers of colors thatinteract and swim into another.His paintings are not framed because he believed thatframed paintings were considered to be imaginary.He layered color over color over color in his paintings whichshows the complexity in his paintings.He wanted the viewers to stand in the painting to admire it,and so he had them hung low on the walls.
Summary and EndingThere is no real ending date; however, the movement wentfrom the 1940s through the 50sFollowed by Pop ArtCame out of the Great Depression and a need to express thesubconscious (Surrealism did not have the “real” elementneeded)Brought art focus from Europe to AmericaAllowed artists to be innovative, led by the abstractexpressionism artists, but still their own style