Abstract expressionism is an art movement, a new style of painting that emerged in the 1940s and 1950s in America.

Abstract expressionism was a radical departure from traditional painting. Instead of depicting realistic scenes, it captured the viewer’s attention with abstract shapes and colors.

What Is Abstract Expressionism

What Is Abstract Expressionism?

Abstract Expressionism is a small group of artists who used abstract painting to express their feelings and experiences.

They painted in the 1950s in New York City, although some of the best-known artists were from California. Their paintings were abstract, but they also drew on American traditions.

Abstract Expressionism was an important movement in art history because it brought together several different ideas about painting. It began with a lot of experimentation with color, shape and texture.

The artists wanted to make their paintings look spontaneous and emotional rather than carefully planned out like traditional oil painting.



What Is Abstract Expressionism In Art?

The abstract expressionists rejected traditional values such as realism and focused instead on expressing their feelings about life through the use of their own personal senses rather than referring to external reality.

Their goal was to free themselves from their own personal inhibitions and biases so they could understand what they felt about things.

In order for an artist to create an abstract work, he or she must first paint with non-representational means so that the canvas has no reference points or context.

Once this is accomplished, the artist can start adding color, form and shape in any way he or she wants to express his or her thoughts on a particular subject matter.

Iconic Abstract Expressionism Artists

The best way to understand Abstract Expressionism is to think of it as a style, not as a movement. The term has been used by critics to describe a group of artists who were active in New York City between the mid-1930s and mid-1950s.

Though the artists themselves never saw themselves as an organized movement, they did share certain stylistic similarities that they worked together to develop.

The most important thing to understand about abstract expressionism is that it was an artistic movement, not a style or a philosophy.


It’s true that many of the leading artists in this style came from Europe, where Expressionism was popular during this time period (especially with German artists).

But there were also Americans who became part of the movement, including Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.

The name “abstract expressionism” was first used in 1926 by Swiss painter Wassily Kandinsky when he exhibited works at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris.

He called his work “abstract” because he wanted to use color more freely than he had been able to before then — instead of following traditional rules like those laid out by painters like Monet or Pissarro.

What Is Abstract Expressionism Influenced By?

Abstract Expressionism is a movement in the visual arts that flourished in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s.

Its practitioners were known as “abstract expressionists” and they aimed to liberate the creative process from traditional notions of objective representation of reality.

They developed a style of painting and sculpture which broke with both traditional American realism and European modernism.

The term “abstract expressionism” was coined by art critic Herbert Read in 1930, but it was not widely used until after World War II when it became associated with a group of New York painters who had come to prominence in 1942.

The movement developed at a time when there was a great deal of uncertainty about what constituted art, and many artists were experimenting with new approaches to representational painting.

The key ideas behind abstract expressionism include:

  • The artist’s primary concern is with personal expression rather than aesthetic beauty,
  • The artist’s conception of painting changes over time, and
  • Painting should be concerned with emotional impact rather than realistic representation.

History Of Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism is a movement in 20th century art, which emerged in New York during the 1940s and 1950s.

It was born out of the New York School, which was centered on abstract expressionist painting. The movement became famous for its exploration of color, line, and form.

Abstract Expressionism was born out of the New York School, which was centered on abstract expressionist painting. The movement became famous for its exploration of color, line and form.


The originator of Abstract Expressionism was Jackson Pollock (1896-1956), a painter from New York City who had been exhibiting at the Betty Parsons Gallery since 1936.

Pollock had a unique style that incorporated drips, splatters and clusters of paint on canvas to create emotionally charged images with spontaneous brushstrokes that often seemed to fly off the canvas.

In addition to Pollock’s work, several other artists also worked in this genre: Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), Lee Krasner (1904-1984) and Mark Rothko (1903-1970). These artists were known as part of an informal group called “The Eight” because they lived around Eighth Street in Chelsea between 14th Street and 23rd Street in Greenwich Village.

Famous Abstract Expressionism – Senator Mccarthy’s Campaign Against Communism

Abstract Expressionism is a group of modern and post-war American art movements. The term is usually applied to the artists of the 1940s and 1950s who were working in New York City and Chicago.

They were strongly influenced by European modernists such as Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh, and often worked with vivid colors, bold lines and raw textures.

The term was coined by the art critic Clement Greenberg to describe the work of Jackson Pollock and other artists associated with the New York School.

Abstract expressionism is characterized by thickly applied paint brushed directly onto the canvas surface, instead of being mixed with other mediums, as in traditional painting techniques.


Abstract Expressionism became popular in America during World War II. Many of its leading exponents had served in World War I as well: Mark Rothko (1903–1970) had been in France during the war; Barnett Newman (1905–1980) had served at Fort Riley, Kansas; Clyfford Still (1904–80) had served at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Famous Abstract Expressionism – Convergence By Jackson Pollock (1952)

Jackson Pollock was an American painter and a major figure in abstract expressionism. This painting is famous for its unique style, which was inspired by the ideas of action painting. He made this painting in 1952.

It shows three vertical lines with different shades of pink, blue and yellow colors. These colors are arranged in such a way that they create a pattern called convergence.

Jackson Pollock’s work is known for its bold use of color, powerful images and unconventional techniques. His paintings have been shown around the world since their first exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York City in 1947-48.

Jackson Pollock’s paintings were inspired by his own life as well as the American culture at that time (the 1940s). Many people believe that his work represented the spirit of American optimism and freedom during that time period.

One of Jackson Pollock’s most well-known works is called “Convergence.” This painting shows three vertical lines with different shades of pink, blue and yellow colors. These colors are arranged in such a way that they create a pattern called convergence.”

Abstract Expressionism Artworks

Abstract Expressionism is a style of modern art that emerged in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, and became prominent across the United States.

It was initially practiced by American artists who had been influenced by the European abstract expressionist movement of the early 20th century.

Abstract expressionism was developed to allow artists to depict their own emotions and those of those around them through their art. The style contributed greatly to the development of American painting, but it was controversial from its beginning. Abstract expressionism has been described as being characterized by “a dynamic tension between order and chaos.”

The term abstract expressionism was coined by art critic Clement Greenberg in his essay “Modern Art: The New York School”, which first published in 1943.

Greenberg used this term when referring to paintings of Jackson Pollock, alone or in various groupings, such as Action Painting or No-Object Painting (De Kooning’s phrase).

In 1945 Greenberg wrote that abstract expressionists “are concerned with man’s spiritual experience rather than his material existence.” De Kooning took up this idea, describing abstraction as “a method of painting about ideas … not about objects.”

Types Of Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism is an art movement that originated in New York in the 1930s. The term describes a style of painting that emerged in New York during the mid-to-late 1940s when abstract color was applied to representational forms. Abstract Expressionism has evolved over time and is still practiced today.

Abstract expressionism refers to a group of American painters whose work has been characterized by a dynamic and energetic use of line, color and shape. It was first developed as a reaction against Cubism, which had been developing since the end of World War I.

The movement’s most important figure was Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), who developed a unique technique using paint drips and splatters on canvas.

Abstract expressionists were also known for working quickly, often finishing an entire painting in one session as opposed to traditional artists who may take months or even years to complete one piece of artwork.


Abstract Expressionism – Gestural Abstraction

Abstract Expressionism is a style of painting and sculpture that emerged in the United States during the 1940s. It was a reaction to Surrealism, which had been an important movement in American art during the 1930s and early 1940s.

The term “abstract expressionist” was coined by art critic Clement Greenberg in 1946. The movement developed within the New York School of artists, who had been associated with the abstract expressionist painters such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

Abstract expressionism developed from American Impressionism and American realism, and originated with Mark Rothko who combined elements of both movements with other styles including post-impressionism, surrealism, and expressionism.

The term has been widely used since the late 1950s to describe artists working in this style. A wide variety of media were employed by abstract expressionists: paint, collage, printmaking techniques (e.g., lithography), drawing, photography and more recently installation art.

Art historian Milton Avery has pointed out that modern abstraction cannot be understood without first understanding modern realism because they are interconnected; each influenced the other through their emphasis on perceptual qualities over figural representation.”

Abstract Expressionism – Color Field

Abstract Expressionism was a movement in American visual art. It developed between 1932 and 1935 and emphasized the use of painterly brushstrokes, bold colors and unconventional images to convey an expressive rather than realistic response to the world.

The term “abstract expressionism” is often applied to certain works of art produced during this time that feature a naturalistic style, including those of its founder Jackson Pollock.

However, early abstract expressionists did not see themselves as abstract artists; rather, they called themselves “pure painters,” or “pure” or “independent” artists.

Abstract Expressionism has been seen as a radical departure from previous movements like Cubism and Futurism.

Where those two movements used abstraction to create new forms out of flat planes, Abstract Expressionism attempted a different kind of transformation: it aimed for the creation of something entirely new out of nothing at all. T

he name “abstract expressionist” itself implies just that: it describes an attempt to go beyond simple representation through painting or sculpture.


Jackson Pollock Action Painting – Abstract Expressionism Art

Jackson Pollock was an American painter and a key figure in the abstract expressionist movement.

He is known for his unique style of drip painting, his widely publicized split with abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning, and his legacy as a leading figure in the development of post-war American art.

Pollock’s paintings are characterized by their extreme spontaneity: he worked quickly and intuitively, often pouring paint directly from the tube onto the canvas without even applying it to the canvas first.

He dripped paint onto the canvas with such force that his paintings are characterized by a chaotic appearance of splatters and spatters.

In 1943, he began to paint in New York City under the pseudonym “Jack Pine” which eventually became his legal name after he married Lee Krasner in 1948.

Pollock died at age 39 from an overdose of morphine and alcohol. His widow, Lee Krasner, continued to promote him as an important artist until her death at age 80 in 2004.

Jackson Pollock’s work is characterized by its explorations into movement – particularly that of rhythmic motion through space – and intensity: many of his paintings feature large numbers of overlapping layers

Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1959 – Famous Abstract Expressionism

The abstract expressionist Mark Rothko was born on March 18, 1903, in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils), Latvia. After graduating from the Art School of Petrograd, he worked as a painter and decorator.

Following the Revolution in 1917, he moved to Moscow where he continued his studies at the Surikov Art Institute. In 1924 he settled in New York City where he became one of the most influential artists of his time. He died in 1970 at the age of 73.

Rothko’s abstract paintings were inspired by Theosophy and Russian Symbolism. His paintings are dominated by black or dark brown tones and feature large areas of solid color with areas of light moving across them.

Rothko’s work has been compared to that of Piet Mondrian because they both use a limited palette to create their compositions.

There is no representation of objects or people in his work; instead there is intense focus on color and shape alone.

What Is Abstract Expressionism In Art – Wrapping Up

Abstract expressionism is a 20th-century art movement, the first major style in the history of American art to develop in New York City.

Its origins may be found in the Post-Impressionist styles of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Mark Rothko as well as Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Hopper.


Abstract Expressionism was not merely an art movement; it was a way of life for many artists. They used their time, energy and resources to create art that reflected their own experiences, feelings and emotions.

The ideas behind abstract expressionism were that art should not be about things but about feelings and emotions.

The form of Abstract Expressionism was developed by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still among others primarily during the 1940s and 1950s.

Some artists who were part of this group were: Clyfford Still, Lee Krasner, Ad Reinhardt, Barnett Newman, Arthur Dove and Arshile Gorky among others.