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  “If you pick up some paint with your brush and make somebody's nose with it, this is rather ridiculous when you think of it, theoretically or philosophically. It's really absurd to make an image, like a human image, with paint, today.”

“The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.”

“I make pictures and someone comes in and calls it art.”

Willem de Kooning


“Today painters do not have to go to a subject matter outside of themselves. Most modern painters work from a different source. They work from within.”

“When I am in a painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc, because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.”

“The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.”

Jackson Pollock


"There is no such thing as good painting about nothing."

"This would be a distortion of their meaning, since the pictures are intimate and intense, and are the opposite of what is decorative; and have been painted in a scale of normal living rather than an institutional scale."

"We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless."

Mark Rothko

  Abstract Expressionism  
  Lavender Mist: Number 1, 1950, Jackson Pollock. Oil on canvas, Oil, enamel, and aluminum on canvas; 221 x 300 cm  

If you reject studying human anatomy, art of drawing, conceptions of perspective, mathematic rules of aesthetics and colour I would rather say that it is a manifestation of laziness and not that of a genius.

Salvador Dali

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  The Beauty Of An Abstract Painting***
By Jay Moncliff

     Have you ever been to an art museum and looked at an abstract painting? Did you find yourself asking what was this artist thinking when he created this abstract painting? What on earth is an abstract painting? Maybe you are just wondering where the art of abstract painting came from. If you find yourself asking these questions then perhaps it is time you learn about the beauty of an abstract paining.

     The art of abstract painting began a very long time ago. Artists began this art several hundred years ago. In fact, you have probably seen some of the more famous abstract paintings before. You may recall a famous abstract painting created by Van Gogh. Picasso also had an abstract painting or two as well. Modigliani is also known for his abstract painting work. Because of these artists, and many others, the art of abstract painting has gained popularity in the modern world.

     Now what exactly is an abstract painting? An abstract painting is defined in many ways. First off, an abstract painting does not depict reality like traditional paintings. In the beginning, most art was depicting a photographic or realistic expression of someone or something. But an abstract painting does not do this. The definition of an abstract painting is that an abstract painting does not depict objects in the natural world. Rather, an abstract painting uses colors and shapes in a non-representing and nonobjective manner. It can be of anyone, anything, or just nothing at all.

     You can easily see this when you look at an abstract painting. An abstract painting has bold, bright, and vivid colors. An abstract painting also has many biometric shapes that are used with the bold colors to make the artwork stand out. It is both strange and beautiful to look at an abstract painting.

     In the 1940's a movement called "Abstract Expressionism" was started. This movement was started to show the freedom of an artist's expression and to push the art of abstract painting. It was started in New York in a school that also called it "Action Painting." This school was one of the first American schools that declared its independence from the European style of artwork. They liked to think of their art as a form of spiritual and intellectual art. This then further pushed the art of abstract painting.

     Now that you know the history of the art of abstract painting you may come to understand it better. It is important to appreciate all forms of art, including the odd art of an abstract painting. You may find yourself wanting to get a piece of this artwork for yourself. It is truly an interesting thing to look at.

About the Author: Jay Moncliff is the founder of a blog focusing on the Painting, resources and articles. This site provides detailed information on paintings. For more info on paintings visit:


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  Abstract Expressionism - a Movement
Author: Russell Shortt

Abstract Expressionism was a movement that originated in post World War II America, it was the first American art movement that became globally influential and it replaced Paris with New York as the centre of the art world. Abstract Expressionism does not describe one particular style but rather an attitude rooted in a need to express individuality and improvise spontaneously. The movement's name is derived from the influences of the emotional intensities and self denial of the German Expressionists and the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as Futurism, Bauhaus and Synthetic Cubism. Many modernist artists had fled Paris during World War II, many of whom settled in New York. The modernist movement in New York was influenced by Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Surrealism and Cubism. Jackson Pollack, one of the leading lights in the movement in New York was to re-define the way that art was created. Pollack placed large canvases on the floor, so it could be approached from all sides - smashing prior restrictions on the artistic process - he took the easel and stuck it up art's ass. Abstract Expressionism was on it's way, Pollack had made it alright and damn well encouraged everybody to think out of the box and explore new ways to approach and make art. It must be stressed that the movement was not constituted of artists of the same style, far from it, in fact some of the artists in the movement did not produce works that were either abstract or expressionist. Indeed, some art critics labelled the movement Action Painting or New York School. Broadly speaking, there were two distinct groups in the movement - those who worked with simple, unified blocks of colour, like Rothko, Newman and Still and those who made use of Surrealist techniques of automatic art, like Pollack, De Kooning and Hofmann. All were influenced by Existentialist thinking, which emphasised the importance of the act of creating and not the finished object.

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About the Author:
Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt,


Abstract Expressionism
Centered in New York City, 1946 to 1960's (see also Action Painting, Color Field Painting)

Abstract Expressionism is a type of art in which the artist expresses himself purely through the use of form and color. It non-representational, or non-objective, art, which means that there are no actual objects represented.

Now considered to be the first American artistic movement of international importance, the term was originally used to describe the work of Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky.

The movement can be more or less divided into two groups: Action Painting, typified by artists such as Pollock, de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Philip Guston, stressed the physical action involved in painting; Color Field Painting, practiced by Mark Rothko and Kenneth Noland, among others, was primarily concerned with exploring the effects of pure color on a canvas.


Abstract Expressionism
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, around the outbreak of World War II, many Surrealists fled Europe and settled in New York. Their interest in unmediated expression to reach the absolute soon influenced a young generation of painters struggling to find a voice for American art. The new movement, which became known as Abstract Expressionism, was heavily indebted to the ideas of the European pioneers of abstraction, including Vasily Kandinsky, whose work was championed in influenced a young generation of painters struggling to find a voice for American art. The new movement, which became known as Abstract Expressionism, was heavily indebted to the ideas of the European pioneers of abstraction....

Metropolitan: Abstract Expressionism
A new vanguard emerged in the early 1940s, primarily in New York, where a small group of loosely affiliated artists created a stylistically diverse body of work that introduced radical new directions in art—and shifted the art world's focus. Never a formal association, the artists known as "Abstract Expressionists" or "The New York School" did, however, share some common assumptions. Among others, artists such as Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), Willem de Kooning (1904–1997), Franz Kline (1910–1962), Lee Krasner (1908–1984), Robert Motherwell (1915–1991), William Baziotes (1912–1963), Mark Rothko (1903–1970), Barnett Newman (1905–1970), Adolph Gottlieb (1903–1974), Richard Pousette-Dart (1916–1992), and Clyfford Still (1904–1980) advanced audacious formal inventions in a search for significant content... Guggenheim: Abstract Expressionism
In the late 1940s and early 1950s Jackson Pollock, considered the foremost Abstract Expressionist, placed his canvases on the floor to pour, drip, and splatter paint onto them and to work on them from all sides, which set him apart from the tradition of vertical easel painting... de Kooning & Abstract Expressionism
...Of the other principal members of de Kooning's Abstract Expressionist cohort, only Philip Guston saw the 1980s, having spent his ultimate energies during the previous decade in one of the most remarkable artistic turnarounds of the last quarter century. For most of the 1970s, while engaged in this dramatic shift from an art of ethereal abstraction to one of darkly comic figuration, Guston was treated as an apostate by his contemporaries... Painting Action and Colorfields
Jackson Pollock's art conveys the mindset of Abstract Expressionism. Pollock argued, “The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through”. Pollock reveals the life of the painting through “actions,” an energetic technique of dripping and pouring paint on a canvas that is placed directly on the floor. Pollock explained, “On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part of the painting… Since this way I can walk around in it… Work from the four sides and be literally ‘in' the painting...”


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Significant artists of the movement

Hans Hofmann German/American Painter 1880-1966 
Mark Tobey American Painter 1890-1976 
Alma Thomas African-American Painter 1891-1978 
Louise Nevelson Russian/American Sculptor 1899-1988 
Jack Tworkov Polish/American Painter 1900-1982 
Adja Yunkers Russian/American Painter 1900-1983 
Mary Callery American Sculptor 1903-1977 
Adolph Gottlieb American Painter 1903-1974 
Alfred Jensen Guatemalan/American Painter 1903-1981 
Seymour Lipton American Sculptor 1903-1986 
Mark Rothko Latvian/American Painter 1903-1970 
Aaron Siskind American Photographer 1903-1991 
Esteban Vicente Spanish/American Painter 1903-2001 
Willem de Kooning Dutch/American Painter 1904-1997 
Jose de Rivera American Sculptor 1904-1985 
Arshile Gorky Armenian/American Painter 1904-1948 
Isamu Noguchi Japanese/American Sculptor 1904-1988 
Clyfford Still American Painter 1904-1980 
John Ferren American Painter 1905-1970 
Barnett Newman American Painter 1905-1970 
James Brooks American Painter 1906-1992 
Herbert Ferber American Sculptor 1906-1991 
David Smith American Sculptor 1906-1965 
Albert Kotin Russian/American Painter 1907-1980 
Perle Fine American Painter 1908-1988 
Lee Krasner American Painter 1908-1984 
George McNeil American Painter 1908-1995 
Jack Bush Canadian Painter 1909-1977 
Enrico Donati American Painter 1909-2008 
Norman Lewis African-American Painter 1909-1979 
Morris Graves American Painter/Sculptor 1910-2001 
Franz Kline American Painter 1910-1962 
Louise Bourgeois French/American Sculptor Born 1911 
William Baziotes American Painter 1912-1963 
Morris Louis American Painter 1912-1962 
Roberto Matta Chilean/French Painter 1912-2002 
Jackson Pollock American Painter 1912-1956 
Lawrence Calcagno American Painter 1913-1993 
Philip Guston Canadian/American Painter 1913-1980 
Ibram Lassaw American Sculptor 1913-2003 
Conrad Marca-Relli American Painter 1913-2000 
Ad Reinhardt American Painter 1913-1967 
William Scott British Painter 1913-1989 
Alberto Burri Italian Painter 1915-1995 
Edward Dugmore American Painter 1915-1996 
Robert Motherwell American Painter 1915-1991 
Elmer Bischoff American Painter 1916-1991 
Alfonso Ossorio Filipino/American Painter 1916-1990 
Richard Pousette-Dart American Painter 1916-1992 
David Hare American Sculptor 1917-1992 
Elaine Fried de Kooning American Painter 1918-1989 
Cleve Gray American Painter 1918-2004 
Edward Corbett American Painter 1919-1971 
Lester Johnson American Painter Born 1919 
George Morrison Native American Painter/Sculptor 1919-2000 
Gene Davis American Painter 1920-1985 
Karel Appel Dutch Painter 1921-2006 
Norman Bluhm American Painter 1921-1999 
Robert de Niro Sr. American Painter 1922-1993 
Grace Hartigan American Painter Born 1922 
Jules Olitski Ukrainian/American Painter 1922-2007 
Theodoros Stamos American Painter 1922-1997 
Sam Francis American Painter 1923-1994 
Paul Jenkins American Painter Born 1923 
Jean Paul Riopelle Canadian Painter 1923-2002 
Richard Stankiewicz American Assemblage Artist 1923-1983 
Antoni Tapies Spanish Painter Born 1923 
Kenneth Noland American Painter Born 1924 
Joan Mitchell American Painter 1926-1992 
Helen Frankenthaler American Painter Born 1928 
Al Held American Painter 1928-2005 
Rita Letendre Native Canadian Painter Born 1928 
Cy Twombly American Painter Born 1928 
Jasper Johns American Painter/Sculptor Born 1930 
Raphael Collazo American Painter 1943-1990 
Joseph Marioni American Painter Born 1943 





Since the war every twentieth-century style in painting is being brought to profusion in the United States: thousands of ‘abstract' painters — crowded teaching courses in Modern Art — a scattering of new heroes — ambitions stimulated by new galleries, mass exhibitions, reproductions in popular magazines, festivals, appropriations.

Is this the usual catching up of America with European art forms? Or is something new being created? For the question of novelty, a definition would seem indispensable.

Some people deny that there is anything original in the recent American painting. Whatever is being done here now, they claim, was done thirty years ago in Paris. You can trace this painter's boxes of symbols to Kandinsky, that one's moony shapes to Miro or even back to Cezanne... read more

The American Action Painters
by Harold Rosenberg

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