Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ab ex

Abstract Expressionism emerged in the late 1940's, following from Expressionism in Europe, and centered in New York. For today's purposes, I divide it into three major areas:
first, Action Painting, a term coined by Harold Rosenberg in his essay, "American Action Painters," from 1952, wherein he wrote: "at a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act—rather than as a space in which to reproduce, re-design, analyze or 'express' an object.... What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event."

Images by Hans Namuth of Jackson Pollock Painting, early 1950's

Franz Kline, 1950's

Franz Kline, Orange Outline, 1955

Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic #110, 
 "what I realized was that Americans potentially could paint like angels but that there was no creative principle around, so that everybody who liked modern art was copying it. Gorky was copying Picasso. Pollock was copying Picasso. De Kooning was copying Picasso. I mean I say this unqualifiedly. I was painting French intimate pictures or whatever. And all we needed was a creative principle, I mean something that would mobilize this capacity to paint in a creative way, and that's what Europe had that we hadn't had; we had always followed in their wake. And I thought of all the possibilities of free association—because I also had a psychoanalytic background and I understood the implications—might be the best chance to really make something entirely new which everybody agreed was the thing to do." Robert Motherwell

Color Field Painting
39. helen frankenthaler.jpg
Helen Frankenthaler “My pictures are full of climates, abstract climates,” she once said. “They're not nature per se, but a feeling.”

frankenthaler Morning Links: Helen Frankenthaler Edition
Alexander Liberman, Helen Frankenthaler, 1964

Helen Frankenthaler, Madame Matisse, 

Frankenthaler, The Bay, 1961

MArk Rothko

Mark Rothko, #8, 1952

Mark Rothko paintings hanging at Tate Modern in 2000
A feast for the eyes … Mark Rothko paintings hanging at Tate Modern in 2000. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian source
Hard Edge Painting (most would call Newman a color-field painting... as I said, it's for our purposes today)

Vir Heroicus Sublimis - Barnett Newman
Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Subilmus, 1950

Barnett Newman, Onement, 

Frank Stella, Herran II, 1967

Josef Albers, Homage to the Square, 1965

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