Movement in Modern Art, especially painting, in which form and colour alone are the emotive forces, without recognisable reference to nature.
Abstract Expressionism was the dominant school of painting in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, centred in New York, but practiced internationally.
Rising out of the art of the 1940’s and even earlier in the work of Kandinsky, abstract pictures came into vogue with the work of Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock. It was soon extended to the work of the New York painters – Gottlieb, De Kooning, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline.
The painters who embraced this style shared a similarity of outlook rather than of style, an outlook characterised by a spirit of revolt against tradition and a demand for spontaneous freedom of expression.
|John Piper 1903-1992 Abstract, 1935. Tate Gallery, London.|
|Arshile Gorky, Waterfall, 1943, oil on canvas, 60 1/2 x 44 1/2 in., Tate Modern, London, purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery, © 2010 Estate of Arshile Gorky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York|
ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (CONT.)
People were shocked when these big, unlovely female figures surfaced in de Kooning’s Abstract Expressionism, but in fact they had never been entirely absent (he subsequently painted also some larger compositions on landscape themes).
De Kooning’s emphatic painterliness contrasts with the graphic character of Pollock’s best paintings: de Kooning is very much a man of thick paint and loaded brushes. What is less apparent is the care, the slow development and the many corrections that went in to such paintings.
Woman, I 1950-1952. MoMa
Willem de Kooning (American, born the Netherlands. 1904-1997)