Abstract Expressionism is generally categorised into two distinctive styles: action painting and colour field painting, but is characterised by gestural brushstrokes, an often monumental scale, an impression of spontaneity and a mutual focus on being abstract, yet expressive or emotional in its effect.…
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Abstract Expressionism is the movement, born out of post-Second World War anxiety and trauma, that stripped Paris of its mantle as capital of the art world and saw New York steal its crown. This led to America’s art boom and dominance of the international art world. With its pieces intended not as objects of passive consumption, but as two-way encounters between artist and viewers, the movement redefined painting and saw artists break away from accepted conventions. It finds its roots in the surrealist notion that art should come from the unconscious and is inspired by the automatism of Joan Miró whose work is reflected in the drip paintings for which Jackson Pollock is renowned.
The movement was developed in the 1940s and 1950s by American painters such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and William de Kooning. The movement was mostly based in New York City and became known as the New York School. Though its initial effect was mostly assimilated by the 1960s, its methods and proponents remained highly influential in the art world, affecting the work of many artists that followed and paving the way for movements such as Tachisme, Lyrical Abstraction, Pop Art, Minimalism and Neo-expressionism. Artists such as Jules Olitski and Joan Mitchell went on to maintain the movement, working in the style for many years and extending and expanding both its visual and philosophical implications. The movement has gone on to be maintained in the present day in the form of styles described as Lyrical Abstraction and Neo-Expressionism.
The action painting style of Abstract Expressionism was led by Pollock and de Kooning who would work in a spontaneous, improvisatory manner to attack their canvasses with expressive brush strokes, often using large brushes in order to leave sweeping, gestural marks – sometimes even dancing upon the canvas and letting the paint drip upon it, falling according to the subconscious mind. This expression of the subconscious part of the psyche was a pivotal element of the action painting style which sought to express the creative unconscious. Meanwhile, the colour field style was pioneered by artists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still who filled their canvasses with large areas of a single colour. These artists were deeply interested in religion and myth and their works were created with the intention of eliciting a contemplative or meditational response in the viewer.
Pollock’s drip paintings are undoubtedly the most well-known of the action painting genre, with his complexly entangled skeins of paint entwining into suggestive and striking linear patterns creating a visually unmistakable effect. Meanwhile, the most outstanding colour field painter was Mark Rothko whose work, which consisted mostly of shimmering, resonating, soft-edged rectangles in solid colours, is extremely distinctive of the artist.
The work of many artists whose paintings adhere to an Abstract Expressionist style can be found online at Rise. See, for example, the work of award winning, German-born abstract arist Daniela Schweinsberg whose explosively colourful, deeply textured pieces are sure to stand out against any backdrop.
Take a look at the pieces created by Hertfordshire-based Rise artist Paresh Nrshin, whose spiritual influence and flirtation with the Abstract Expressionist genre, results in a strikingly bright and captivating collection of pieces. This young artist, whose fluid style takes inspiration in music, boasts an impressive client base including Queen of Abu Dhabi.
Another Rise artist whose Abstract Expressionist art should not be missed is Bea Garding Schubert whose fascinating pieces seem to reveal more and more about themselves the longer you look at them. Her works inspire hope and happiness and her distinctive colour palette adds a refreshing burst of pastel-toned joy to any room.
Prefer something more dark and brooding? Look no further than the work of painter and musician Francesco D'Adamo whose thought-provoking pieces are created using a mixture of different techniques to produce a staggeringly concrete image.
Whatever your tastes, with our traditional expertise and curatorial advice we are here to help connect you to your dream piece. Buy art online with confidence with 14 days free returns and our free art-advisory service.