Abstract Expressionism artists
Willem de Kooning
What is Abstract Expressionism
Abstract Expressionism first started shortly after World War II in the USA. This art movement was the first important art movement that found it's roots in the USA and it placed New York on the center of the artistic world map. For the first time since hundreds of years, Paris had lost it's leading role.
The actual term "Abstract Expressionism" was first mentioned by art critic Robert Coates in 1946. The name was a combination of the German Expressionists, with their emotional intensity and self-expression, and other European abstract movements such as Futurism and Cubism.
The Abstract Expressionists was a group of very different and individual artists, many of whom came together in New York?s Greenwich Village. Among the most famous were Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston and Robert Motherwell. While the wild physical "action" paintings of Jackson Pollock have come to represent the revolutionary mood of the times, a number of other painters played crucial roles in this movement. Mark Rothko?s enormous fields of color expressed both the spiritual and monumental concerns of the time. Willem de Kooning, who had taught at Black Mountain College, created work centered around aggressive applications of paint that, through free expressive brush strokes, created emotionally intense imagery. The giant canvases of Franz Kline and Clyfford Still concerned themselves primarily with human fragility. Together with Ad Reinhardt, Lee Krasner, Barnett Newman, and Elaine de Kooning, these painters expanded the possibilities of the medium.
By the 1960s, the movement had lost most of its impact, and was no longer so influential. Movements which were direct responses to, and rebellions against, abstract expressionism had begun, such as pop art and minimalism. However, many painters, such as Fuller Potter, who had produced abstract expressionist work continued to work in that style for many years afterwards extending and expanding its visual and philosophical implications.