Abstract Expressionism

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Abstract expressionism is an art movement that developed in the centre of New York after the 2nd world war in the mid forties. It is often called the school of New York. It was maybe the first important art movement that was born in the USA, declaring its independence from the other European currents of modern art.
The term abstract expressionism was used for the first time in 1946 from an art critic called Robert Coates. The name itself contains the main technical and aesthetic characteristics of the movement, as it combined the German expressionism with the pure abstract tendencies of other contemporary movements like futurism, or cubism. For many people it is considered that its predecessor was hyper realism, because of its spontaneous automatic subconscious expression.
It must be noted that the term abstract expressionism was also often used for artists with diametrically contrasting techniques, who happened to participate in the art production of New York at the same period. Characteristically, despite the fact that Jackson Pollock, Vilelm De Kuning and Mark Rothko are considered significant personalities of the abstract expressionism, they made paintings which were not connected with each other with regard to their techniques and aesthetics. Whereas Rothko’s paintings are characterized by their simplicity, Kuning’s works are characterized by intense action and expressionism. On the other hand, Pollock developed a new (dripping) technique by which he accidentally spilled paint on the canvas that was placed on the floor.
The representatives of abstract expressionism had certainly some common elements, like improvising and the use of free form. Their technique is often described by the term of action painting, which could easily be translated as the painting of action.
In the fifties the Canadian artist Jean- Paul Riopelle introduced abstract expressionism to Paris.
In the sixties, the movement of abstract expressionism started losing its glamour to a great extent and ceased to influence other artists. The movement was in some way replaced by pop art. The most famous artists of abstract expressionism were Jackson Pollock, Vilem Kuning and Mark Rothko.