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Art Movements in Art History - Abstract Expressionism

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Abstract Expressionism

Introduction to Abstract Expressionism
When the future Abstract Expressionists first started their painting careers in the 1930s,
American art could roughly be divided into two politically opposed mainstreams:
Regionalism and Social Realism. In response to the major economic and political upheavals
in the 1930s, prewar American artists tended to ally themselves either with Marxist ideology more

Abstract Expressionism and The Modernist Tradition
During the 1930s, New York started developing its own avant-garde community and became
steeped in Modernist ideas. European art was ardently promoted by the American art
world, as various New York museums' choice of exhibitions during this period will testify more

Abstract Expressionist Painting
Considering that none of the Abstract Expressionists saw themselves as belonging to a
group or painting according to consensually determined standards, it may be considered
an imposition to label their art as a movement or style more

Gestural Abstract Expressionism
In 1948, the key formal concepts of Gestural Painting (of whom Pollock, De Kooning,
Kline and Gottblieb were the main protagonists) was formulated thus by Greenberg more

Colourfield Painting
The colourfield painters (Still, Rothko, and Newman), in treating the surface of the canvas as
unified field, had expressive aims similar to those of the gestural painters. Rather than
Using line, however, the colourfield painters explored the expressive possibilities of colour more

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