The Abstract Expressionist Movement and Artists

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The Abstract-Expressionist Movement was an American post–World War II creation. It was the first specifically American group of Artists to achieve worldwide influence and also the one that put New York City at the center of the art world, a role formerly filled by Paris.

Although the term "abstract expressionism" was first applied to American art in 1946 by the art critic Robert Coates, it had been first used in Germany in 1919 in the magazine Der Sturm, regarding German Expressionism. In the USA, Alfred Barr was the first to use this term in 1929 in relation to works by Wassily Kandinsky.
This picture is of a book that I have read on the subject by Barbara Hess. It's packed full of useful info...(You can find out more from Amazon if you click on this link Abstract Expressionism (25)

) I really enjoyed it!


Technically, an important predecessor is Surrealism, with its emphasis on spontaneous, automatic or subconscious creation. Jackson Pollock's dripping paint onto a canvas laid on the floor is a technique that has its roots in the work of Max Ernst. Another important early manifestation of what came to be regarded as Abstract-Expressionist is the work of American Northwest artist Mark Tobey, especially his "white writing" canvases, which, though generally not large in scale, anticipate the "all over" look of Pollock's drip paintings.

The movement's name is derived from the combination of the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as Futurism, the Bauhaus and Synthetic Cubism . Additionally, it has an image of being rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some feel, rather nihilistic.In practice, the term is applied to any number of artists working (mostly) in New York who had quite different styles, and even applied to work which is not especially abstract nor expressionist. Pollock's energetic "action paintings", with their "busy" feel, are different both technically and aesthetically, to the violent and grotesque Women series of Willem de Kooning (which are figurative paintings) and to the rectangles of color in Mark Rothko's work (which is not what would usually be called expressionist and which Rothko denied was abstract), yet all three are classified as Abstract- Expressionist. (See Rothko graphics on this page.)

Salvador Dali Book Review

The picture is of a book about Salvador Dali by Robert Descharnes. I thought I would include this book review just incase you are interested in what came before, or what inspired the Expressionists. The book is called Dali. (You can click on this link to find out more from Amazon :Salvador Dali 2v


Here is an interesting book review by 'Wiredweird,' (professional reviewer ) Read on.....I thought that this was entertaining!

Wiredweird's Review:

Well, at nearly 6kg, a whap in the head with this thing would certainly loosen some screws. That's not what I meant, though. It's huge, beautiful, and encyclopedic. It covers Dalí's entire career, with all of the different stages he went through in creating his art and himself. There's just too much to try to summarize here - the book takes over 1600 photos to illustrate his life. Most of them depict Dalí's art or Dalí himself (I still suspect that he lived his entire life as a work of performance art). Others depict influences on his art. Some show work by other artists, for contrast or as part of Dalí's heritage. A few show features of the natural world, a rock formation, for example, that the alchemy of Dalí's magic transmuted into new visual elements.

And, throughout, there is Gala - Dalí's wife, agent, manager, muse, model, and tour guide for his visit to planet Earth. I hate the phrase that would call Gala his "better half," but I'm sure that Dalí would have been incomplete in many ways without her. Certainly, his finished works owe much to the way she inspired him.

I fault this wonderful work for only one thing, but one that I find maddening: there is no index. In partial compensation, end matter lists each photo or work of art, in numerical order as they appeared in the book, with provenance and other information about any art shown. A bibliogrpahy would have been nice, too - but no index! With a book like this, it almost feels as if the last twenty pages had been ripped out.

Don't let that bit of pedantry get in the way of enjoying this marvelous collection, though. You might want to supplement this book with some of Dalí's own writing, such as The unspeakable confessions of Salvador Dali or Diary of a Genius, to name only a few. I can't imagine that you'll want another display of his artwork, except maybe the lithos.

-- wiredweird --

Mainstream Acceptance

Why the Abstract-Expressionist style gained mainstream acceptance in the 1950s is a matter of debate. American social realism had been the mainstream in the 1930s. It had been influenced not only by the Great Depression but also by the Social Realists of Mexico such as David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera. The political climate after World War II did not long tolerate the social protests of these painters. Abstract expressionism arose during World War II and began to be showcased during the early forties at galleries in New York like The Art of This Century Gallery. The McCarthy era after World War II was a time of extreme artistic censorship in the United States. Since the subject matter was often totally abstract it became a safe strategy for artists to pursue this style. Abstract art could be seen as apolitical. Or if the art was political, the message was largely for the insiders.

A List of Major Artists.

Significant artists whose mature work defined the American Abstract-Expressionist:

William Baziotes Norman Bluhm Louise Bourgeois James Brooks Hans Burkhardt Jack Bush Alexander Calder John Chamberlain Elaine de Kooning Willem de Kooning Robert De Niro, Sr. Richard Diebenkorn Enrico Donati Friedel Dzubas Norris Embry Jimmy Ernst Herbert Ferber Jane Frank Helen Frankenthaler Sam Francis Arshile Gorky Adolph Gottlieb Philip Guston Elaine Hamilton David Hare Grace Hartigan

Hans Hofmann, Paul Jenkins Franz Kline Albert Kotin Lee Krasner Ibram Lassaw Richard Lippold Seymour Lipton Morris Louis Conrad Marca-Relli Nicholas Marsicano Joan Mitchell Robert Motherwell Jan Müller Louise Nevelson Barnett Newman Isamu Noguchi Kenzo Okada

Jackson Pollock Fuller Potter Richard Pousette-Dart Ad Reinhardt Milton Resnick George Rickey Jean-Paul Riopelle William Ronald Mark Rothko Theodore Roszak Anne Ryan Louis Schanker Jon Schueler David Smith Theodoros Stamos Hedda Sterne Clyfford Still Mark di Suvero Mark Tobey Bradley Walker Tomlin Jack Tworkov Cy Twombly Esteban Vicente Theodore Roszak Anne Ryan Louis Schanker Jon Schueler David Smith Theodoros Stamos Hedda Sterne Clyfford Still Mark di Suvero Mark Tobey Bradley Walker Tomlin Jack Tworkov Cy Twombly Esteban Vicente

Wonderful Posters.....

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Movements List
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Modern Art Artist List
Surrealist Movement
Impressionist Movement
Geometrical Abstraction
American Impressionist Movement
Cubist Movement
Famous Artist: Picasso
Famous Artist: Braque
Famous Artist: Salvador Dali

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