Shop by Subjects
Shop by Artists
Abstract Expressionism developed in the context of diverse, overlapping sources and inspirations. It's a new vanguard emerged in the early 1940s, primarily in New York, where a small group of loosely affiliated artists created a stylistically diverse body of work that introduced radical new directions in art-and shifted the art world's focus.
Although it was first coined in relation to the work of Vasily Kandinsky in 1929. The works of the generation of artists active in New York from the 1940s and regarded as Abstract Expressionists resist definition as a cohesive style; they range from Barnett Newman's unbroken fields of color to Willem de Kooning's violent handling of the figure. They were linked by a concern with varying degrees of abstraction used to convey strong emotional or expressive content. It has an image of being rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some feel, nihilistic.
However, the majority of Abstract Expressionists rejected critical labels and shared, if anything, only a common sense of moral purpose and alienation from American society. Abstract Expressionism has nonetheless been interpreted as an especially 'American' style because of its attention to the physical immediacy of paint. It undeniably became the first American visual art to attain international status and influence. Some significant artists of Abstract Expressionism are Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Clyfford Still.