Understanding Abstract Expressionism

abstract expressionism art - Understanding Abstract Expressionism

Abstract expressionism is a kind of art that is also referred to as action color field painting that plunged into the art scene after the World War II. In fact abstract expressionism is a term that was applied to the new forms of abstract art that were developed by American painters including; Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning back in the 1940s and 1950s. The form of art was characterized with messiness and an extremely energetic application of paint. In some other circles, the form of art is also referred to as gestural abstraction for its brush strokes reveals the process of the artist. There are various ward winning artists including Harold Rosenberg who have created a number of abstract art pieces.

Most of the abstract expressionist artists were located in the NY City. Most of the works of art that they made evoked emotions and were as well expressive. Abstract expressionist art were inspired by concept that art must originate from the unconscious mind.

The abstract expressionist artists made lower Manhattan the hub of their artist business and therefore a walk along the 8th street would make you come into contact with some of them.

Abstract expressionism types

Within the abstract expressionism movement there were two categories which encompass the so-called action painters; these are those who worked on the canvas with expressive brush strokes. There were also the color field painters who used large areas of a single color on their canvas.

The relationship of jazz music and abstract expressionism art

Many abstract expressionism artists just like other artists who prefer acrylic on canvas prefer music of their time. Jazz music is improvisational and expressive and numerous abstract expressionists even Jackson Pollock, admitted listening to jazz music while doing their painting.

Another renowned abstract expressionist artist, Norman Lewis who did most of his work in Harlem, depicted Harlem jazz clubs in his early figurative works. In his abstract paintings that he later did, he integrated the lyricism and spontaneity of the jazz music.

What can be learned from the emergence of abstract expressionism art?

The abstract expressionism art form offered a way for all types of artists to be able to freely deliver their feelings and ideas without any fear or worry of public scrutiny of their thoughts. Initially, the public was reluctant their amazing works of art but this did not deter the movement’s freedom expression.

The movement owes Peggy Guggenheim a forward thinking and powerful collector lots of gratitude for his contribution to the success of the movement.

The various features of abstract expressionism art

Large scaled works – the paintings here are typically large except for the heroic figures of the 18th and 19th abstract expressionism and are completed on large canvases.

Artist’s perspective – this movement is not characterized by a specific style but features strong messages and emotions which are paramount to the representation.

Diversity of color – in abstract expressionism the artist depict how color affects the mood and thought.


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