20th Century Art

 

Abstract Expressionism - Action Painting

The New York School

Fast Facts

Abstract Expressionism is more an attitude than a style. Originated in New York City in the mid 1940's, it involved artists from many different parts of the United States and Europe. Although frequently described as the first truly American art style, it has joint European and American roots and probably wouldn't have emerged without the extraordinary influx of European artists and intellectuals who emigrated before and during World War II. The artists used painting to explore the depths of their own psyches and the so-called “collective unconscious”. Because craftsmanship is deliberately sacrificed, universal standards by which to judge the work are missing. The movement was popularized through articulate advocates and critics who promoted the notion of free, individual expression as a fundamentally American style.

*** Keep in mind that Abstract Expressionism deals with ideas not facts. Don't look for familiar landmarks from the outside world to help you understand this style.

 
 

 

The Golden Wall, 1961

 
Artist: Hans Hofman (1880-1966)
Artchive

 

The Liver Is the Cocks Comb, 1944

 
Artist: Arshile Gorky (1904-1948)
Artchive

 

Cathedral, 1947

 
Artist: Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
Artchive

 

Lavendar Mist: Number 1, 1950

 
Artist: Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
Artchive

 

Fire Island, 1946

 
Artist: Willam de Kooning (1912-1997)
Artchive

 

Woman, 1949

 
Artist: Willam de Kooning (1912-1997)
Artchive

 

Woman I, 1950-1952

 
Artist: Willam de Kooning (1912-1997)
Artchive

 

 

New York, New York, 1953

 
Artist: Franz Kline (1910-1962)
Artchive

 

Untitled, 1957

 
Artist: Franz Kline (1910-1962)
Artchive

To contact the instructor or for comments:

kathleen_grisham@westvalley.edu

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Kathleen Grisham
Instructor's e-mail address: kathleen_grisham@westvalley.edu
Instructor's homepage:

http://instruct.westvalley.edu/grisham