Abstract Expressionism

April 3, 2010
One of paintings by Affandi, an Indonesian abstract exspressionist artist

One of paintings by Affandi, an Indonesian abstract exspressionist artist

The movement’s name is derived from the combination of the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionist with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as  Futurism, the Bauhaus and Synthetic Cubism. Additionally, it has an image of being rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some feel, nihilistic.  In practice, the term is applied to any number of artists working (mostly) in New York who had quite different styles and even to work that is neither especially abstract nor expressionist. Pollock’s energetic “cation paintings”, with their “busy” feel, are different, both technically and aesthetically, from the violent and grotesque Women Willem de Kooning’s figurative paintings) and the rectangles of color in Mark Rothko’s Color Field paintings (which are not what would usually be called expressionist and which Rothko denied were abstract). Yet all three artists are classified as abstract expressionists. series of

Abstract expressionism has many stylistic similarities to the Russian artists of the early twentieth century such as Wassily Kandinsky. Although it is true that spontaneity or the impression of spontaneity characterized many of the abstract expressionists works, most of these paintings involved careful planning, especially since their large size demanded it. With artists like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Emma Kunz, and later on Rothko, Barnett Newman and Agnes Martin, abstract art clearly implied expression of ideas concerning the spiritual, the unconscious and the mind.

Why this style gained mainstream acceptance in the 1950s is a matter of debate. American social realism had been the mainstream in the 1930s. It had been influenced not only by the Great Depression but also by the Social Realists of Mexico such as David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera. The political climate after World War II did not long tolerate the social protests of these painters. Abstract expressionism arose during World War II and began to be showcased during the early forties at galleries in New York like The Art of This century Gallery. The McCarthy era after World War II was a time of extreme artistic cencorship in the United States. Since the subject matter was often totally abstract it became a safe strategy for artists to pursue this style. Abstract art could be seen as apolitical. Or if the art was political, the message was largely for the insiders.

Source: http://www.en.wikipedia.org

See: Affandi, Indonesian Abstract Expressionsist

2 Responses to Abstract Expressionism

  1. […] painting is known as expressionism. The International Herald Tribune daily entitled Affandi as a New Expressionism Painter of […]

  2. […] They are Indonesian great artists with international reputations. Differ  from Affandi that was an abstract-expressionist, Raden Saleh closed to romanticism which was so popular in Europe in nineteenth century. Although […]

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