New york school

DEFINITION

A broad and diverse group of American artists active in the 1940s and 1950s who fall under descriptions of Abstract Expressionism, Abstract Impressionism and Action Painting. A major reason the group is difficult to describe is that innovation and individual expression are unifying characteristics that necessarily defy description. However, the New York School Abstract Expressionists made a lasting contribution in that the style is credited as the first truly unique style in American Art. New York School artists shared the urban environment of New York City with most of them living within the downtown area bordered by 8th and 12th Streets between First and Sixth Avenues. They also shared a sense of solidarity about defying many traditional art styles, especially the prevalent Social Realism, and dominance of Paris avant-garde styles. New York School painters created from personal instincts and impulses, which was revolutionary in that the focus was on the artist instead of the subject depicted. The New York School movement, primarily composed of men, began in the early 1940s. It was stirred by the opening of the Hans Hoffman School in New York City, the introduction of Surrealism and Cubism into American Art with the arrival of artists from France escaping World War II, and the exhibitions of avant-garde European art by Peggy Guggenheim. Their first organization meeting was in 1948 at Studio 35, and until April, 1950, this location was a meeting place for lectures and discussion. Lecturers were leading New York School artists such as Mark Rothco, Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhardt, Willem De Kooning and Barnet Newman. Meanwhile in 1949, a group of twenty artists formed The Club. The Cedar Bar was the primary meeting spot, and it was described as &#39;any night of the week housing the art world but since they all fit into the bar, the art world was not as large as we thought it was.&#39; (Herskovic, Intro.) Their first exhibition together was May to June 1951 in space at at 60 East 9th Street in a building about to be torn down. Franz Kline designed the poster, and sixty-one artists participated. The public response was minimal, but twenty-four of the artists continued to exhibit together from 1953 to 1957 at the Stable Gallery. Later in the 1950s, a second generation of New York School painters emerged, but the energy of the movement declined with Pop Art painters staging a rebellion against Abstraction. Sources: Marika Herskovic, "New York School", "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art" <br><br>See Abstract Expressionism.

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