abstract expressionism - Robert Walker Art

abstract expressionism

Abstract Watercolors by Robert Walker

According to Notre Dame Women's College of Kyoto (www.notredame.ac.jp):

abstract expressionism is a New York genre of painting characterized by freely created abstractions.

Main Gallery of abstract expressionism
abstract expressionism - A painting movement in which artists typically applied paint rapidly, and with force to their huge canvases in an effort to show feelings and emotions, painting gesturally, non-geometrically, sometimes applying paint with large brushes, sometimes dripping or even throwing it onto canvas. Their work is characterized by a strong dependence on what appears to be accident and chance, but which is actually highly planned. Some Abstract Expressionist artists were concerned with adopting a peaceful and mystical approach to a purely abstract image. Usually there was no effort to represent subject matter. Not all work was abstract, nor was all work expressive, but it was generally believed that the spontaneity of the artists' approach to their work would draw from and release the creativity of their unconscious minds. The expressive method of painting was often considered as important as the painting itself.

Artists who painted in this style include Hans Hoffman (German-American, 1880-1966), Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903-1974), Mark Rothko (American, 1903-1970), Willem De Kooning (Dutch-American, 1904-1997), Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980), Barnett Newman (American, 1905-1970), Franz Kline (American, 1910-1962), William Baziotes (American, 1912-1963), Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Philip Guston (American, 1913-1980), Ad Reinhardt (American, 1913-1967), Robert Motherwell (American, 1915-1991), Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994), and Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-). Abstract Expressionism originated in the 1940s, and became popular in the 1950s.

Excerpt from: http://www.artlex.com/



"Since the middle of the twentieth century, American abstract expressionism has been celebrated as the art form of the Western world. Some critics have considered such works as the pinnacle of artistic production, calling it "the end of art." While abstract expressionism has been labeled a uniquely American form, some have re-interpreted it as the culmination of intense European influence over American artists.

On the other side of the debate, realism has been called the American artform. Benjamin West, Eakins, and the Ash Can School are seen as the real fathers of American art. In the 1970's, realism re-emerged in America, but in a manner that paid homage to abstraction." from http://www.sqart.org/exhibits.html(3/13/02)

"Abstract Expressionism 1945 - Present

Abstract Expressionism was an art movement which began in New York City. After WWII, with images of the Holocaust everywhere they turned, it seemed redundant for socially-aware artists to paint these same images ... a photograph at the time was much more powerful. Therefore, to have no subject matter ... no imagery at all, seemed to be "the thing to do". Artists began to explore color and shape and to paint an entire canvas orange or blue was not an odd thing to do (Color Field Painting). The ideas of existentialism also played a large role in how artists created. Artists began to wonder: "If there is no God, what are the reasons for our being here? Why do we do what we do?" The result was a period of self discovery and there was a sense that one could do and say anything and everything. With no rules, many creative minds could explore ideas freely - hence the splish splash creations of folks like Jackson Pollock - otherwise known as "Jack the Dripper"." From http://arthistory.about.com/library/bl101_abstractex.htm(3/13/02)

"Expressionism 1890s - 1920s

Expressionism was all about the depiction of emotions and the types of responses those same emotions evoked. The traditional goal of representing nature as accurately as possible was thrown out the window and instead vibrant colors, wild abstract shapes and emotional subject matter took over. Expressionism had its roots in African cultures and included many sub-styles within it including Der Blaue Reiter (the blue rider) and Die Brucke (the bridge)." From http://arthistory.about.com/library/bl101_expressionism.htm (3/13/02)


abstract expressionism - Robert Walker - pg 613

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