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Abstract Expressionism

by: Jessika Song

Abstract Expressionism ARHI 2400

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Art History > ARHI 2400 > Abstract Expressionism
Jessika Song

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These notes are a combination of material from the textbook and from class lectures, to give you all of the information you'll need for the exam.
History of Art Survey, Part II
Beth Fadeley
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessika Song on Tuesday May 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARHI 2400 at University of Georgia taught by Beth Fadeley in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see History of Art Survey, Part II in Art History at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 05/03/16
#DUVTCEV▯'ZRTGUUKQPKUO▯ Abstract Expressionism The New York School - In the 1960s, the center of the Western art world shifted from Paris to New York because of the devastation WWII had inflicted across Europe and the resulting influx of émigre artists escaping to the United States. - It was in New York that the first major American avant-garde movement —Abstract Expressionism— emerged. - Following WWII, there was a new kind of urgency for what the purpose of art should be. - The New York School was an informal group of modernist painters and poets active in New York City c. 1950s-1960s; most closely associated with Abstract Expressionism. Gestural Abstraction: also known as action painting. A kind of abstract painting in which the gesture, or act of painting, is seen as the subject of art. Its most renowned proponent was Jackson Pollock. Chromatic Painting: A kind of abstract painting that focuses on the emotional resonance of color, as exemplified by the work of Mark Rothko. Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) - Pollock, like other artists at this time, had access to Native American art and attended exhibitions at the American Museum of Natural History that sparked his great interest in Navajo sand painting. The Navajo emphasized the process and ritual of making art, which inspired Pollock. - Pollock’s ideas about improvisation in the creative process have been linked to his interest in what psychiatrist Carl Jung called the “collective unconscious.” Responding to the image as it developed, he created art that was spontaneous yet choreographed. Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist) - A large-scale abstract painting that consists of rhythmic drips, splatters, and dribbles of paint. Using sticks or brushes, Pollock flung, poured, and dripped paint onto the canvas. - The painting has no focal point — all that really mattered to Pollock was the spiritual and transcendental process of creating the piece. This was not a haphazard method to him. Willem de Kooning (1903-1997) - Dutch-born artist who also developed a gestural abstractionist style and who also valued the process of making art — known for re-creating/replicating the same piece until he felt like it expressed the “correct” emotion. - De Kooning’s art was abstract, but it still maintained recognizable subject matter. Woman I - Although rooted in figuration, including pictures of female models on advertising billboards, this painting still displays the energetic application of pigment that was typical of gestural abstraction. - Out of the jumbled array of lines and color can be seen a ferocious-looking woman, which not only expressed his own feelings, but also an expression of womanhood. Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) - Partner to Clement Greenberg for five years (important critic of modern art, who believed that art was about exploring flatness, rather than an illusionistic representation). - Frankenthaler wanted to make a canvas even more of a canvas by diluting paint and pouring straight onto the canvas, causing the colors to soak directly into it, creating a liquified, translucent effect that strongly resembled watercolor. Color Field Painting: A variant of Chromatic Abstraction in which the artist sought to reduce painting to its physical essence by pouring diluted paint onto an unprimed canvas and letting these pigments soak into the fabric. Mark Rothko (1903-1970) - Born in Russia and moved to the United States with his family when he was 10. - Came to believe that references to anything specific in the physical world conflicted with the sublime idea of the universal, supernatural “spirit of myth,” which he saw as the core of meaning in art. - Rothko’s paintings became compositionally simple, and he increasingly focused on color as the primary conveyor of meaning. No.10 - Rothko was most famous for his massive canvases, such as this one. - This painting can be seen as a symbol of life — that despite hardship, people should still be weightless and expansive, like the glowing rectangles being pressed under the heavy lines. Rothko Chapel - Rothko was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil to create a meditative space filled with his paintings. - Fourteen of Rothko’s paintings are displayed in this non-denominational chapel. He passed away before the chapel was completed.


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