The world experienced many radical changes in the time following World War II. Alongwith the various political and economic changes came an art movement that influenced manyprominent artists to express themselves in a new way. Abstract Expressionism emerged in NewYork, where a small group of artists introduced art that shifted the art world’s attention. Manyprevious artists used abstraction in their work, but the Abstract Expressionism movementsymbolized a time when abstract art no longer consisted of lines and shapes. Artists began toresist European traditional painting methods and use abstract art created to invoke emotion.A major figure in this art movement is Jackson Pollock. Pollock’s most famous pieces of workwere made using a “drip painting” method, where the paint is dripped or poured onto a canvasthat is laid on the ground.
This new approach of abstract expressionism displayed the strugglebetween man and nature, metaphorical battles, and the pursuit of balance. His painting stylewas completely free, the works were shocking to many viewers. In addition to drip painting,Jackson Pollock was a revolutionary artist in Action Painting in where Pollock would paint usingsticks and knives, onto an unstretched canvas on a floor. The entirety of his Action Paintingallowed him to become part of the painting process.
His avant-garde approach both fascinatedand shocked the art critics which ultimately earned him the nickname “Jack The Dripper.” WithPollock’s rejection of using of an easel and other more traditional painting techniques, carvedout a distinct fan base for himself during the post-war abstract expressionist painting. Many artbuffs agree that Pollock’s paintings represent the abstract expressionism of the mid-twentiethcentury.
Many other Abstract Expressionists followed Pollock’s footsteps into a breakthrough of theirown in a sense innovations of Jackson Pollock, for example, Willem de Kooning anotherfamous action painter using abstract expressionism conveys moving artwork with a parallel ofwarped and abstracted brushstrokes. In the process of creating his painting Woman, I Kooningtook tremendous measure to perfect the abstract figure come to life. The painting underwentinnumerable metamorphoses before it was finished in 1952. Woman, I is the first in a series ofde Kooning works on the theme of Woman, of which there are six in the series.
In this process,Kooning reflects the cultural ambivalence for the power of feminism. Kooning developed aportfolio of painted women in his early career. His paintings almost seemed to have a similarappearance but the individuals displayed in the pieces were genetically different. In his sixthiteration of the painted Woman it’s clear that they all stem from the same inspiration.
Theinspiration for the group of painted woman is meant to show the different cultures fromHilton 2Paleolithic fertility. The technical components of Women I help capture the meaning of thepiece. For example, lines, create depth or define a space. In Women I, her body is outlined inthick and thin black lines, which continue in loops, streaks, and drips, taking on an independentlife of their own. These lines express aggressive emotion, and define the woman as dominantby taking over the entire space of the painting.
Another groundbreaking Abstract Expressionist Arshile Gorky, one of the famous abstract artistwho was best known for his Cubism. After becoming a successful artist in New York, Gorkymet his wife Agnes Magruder, who ultimately was a muse for his artwork, together the couplewould spend more time outside of New York City, in Connecticut, where Gorky forged what isconsidered the best work of his career. His creations consisted of abstract brushwork coupledwith biomorphic shapes and sulfurous colors inspired simultaneously by Cubism’s fracturedperspective. Coming from a background that consisted of genocide and war, Gorky expressedthe suffering of his culture in a famous painting from 1944, titled, “How My Mother’sEmbroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life”, In this painting Gorky fuses many inspirations,personal, the aesthetic, and the automatic. This large-scale piece displays many compositionsof Abstract Expressionism, with lines and drips that careen across the canvas without evidentstructure.
After his tragic suicide in 1948, many historians reflected on his career and came to aconsensus that Gorky’s work not only represented synthesized Cubism and Surrealism-whichstoked the flames of Abstract Expressionism, which ultimately inspired and altered the future ofthe art. Influencing many of the early 20th century’s most radical artists, the special part of hisartwork is the narrative added with the use of his own emotions and reflecting on a deep well ofpersonal experience: as a child in Armenia, that dealt with the death of his mother at a youngage, displacement, and new landscapes enveloped his life and his artwork.Throughout the 1950s, Abstract Expressionism was a major influence on artist’s both at homeand abroad. Its distinctive style was embraced by the United States because it reflected the truevalues of American democracy, individualism, and cultural achievement, and actively promotedinternational relations due to worldwide exhibitions of Abstract Expressionists artworks. It wasalso used as a form of political propaganda during the years of World War 2. While many artistsfound inspiration in the stylistic discoveries of de Kooning and Pollock. Their work appearedperfected and lacked the same newfound experience of the first generation pioneers