ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM By Barbara Hess
Hailed as the first American-born fine art movement to have a worldwide influence, Abstract Expressionism denotes the non-representational use of paint as a means of personal expression. It emerged in America in the 1940s, with lead protagonists including Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Joan Mitchell, and Willem de Kooning.
Abstract Expressionism spawned many different stylistic tendencies but two particularly prominent sub-categories: action painting, exemplified by de Kooning and Pollock, and color field painting, made most famous by Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.
Throughout, Abstract Expressionists strove to convey emotions and ideas through the making of marks, through forms, textures, shades, and the particular quality of brushstrokes. The movement favored large-scale canvases, and embraced the role of accident or chance.
Artists featured: William Baziotes, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, David Smith, Theodoros Stamos, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, Bradley Walter Tomlin.