Abstract expressionism

DEFINITION

A term referring to an art movement in the 1940s and 1950s where the essence of the work was the artist's personal involvement based on emotion rather than a desire for realistic depiction or conformity with work by other artists. Many consider Abstract Expressionism the first truly American art movement, although it had roots both in America and Europe. Some European artists who had fled the Hitler regime to America such as Max Ernst, Fernand Leger, Hans Hofmann and Piet Mondrian, were involved along with Americans Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock. There were two aspects. Action Painting and Abstract Image Painting. Art writer Robert Coates first used the term Abstract Expressionism to describe contemporary paintings in the March 30, 1946 issue of "The New Yorker" magazine. Great proponents of the movement were critics Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds & Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms".

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