Abstract Expressionism Essay Research Paper Abstract Expressionism 2

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Abstract Expressionism Essay, Research Paper Abstract Expressionism “What about the reality of the everyday world and the reality of painting? They are not the same realities. What is this creative thing that you have struggled to get and where did it come from? What reference or value does it have, outside of the painting itself?” Ad Reinhardt, in a group discussion at Studio 35, in 1950. My essay starts with the origin and the birth of this great expression in the twentieth century. This movement not only touched painting, it had an affect on various aspects of art- poetry, architecture, theater, film, photography. Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian are considered to be the pioneer artists to have achieved a truly abstract visual language in painting.

Although they worked independently, these artists were united by a belief that abstract painting was capable of evoking a spiritual experience. A central figure of German Expressionism, Kandinsky, in 1911, began to paint densely layered composition of free-floating lines and areas of color, with the intention to reveal his desire to instill visual form with the properties of music. By 1915, Malevich had invented a new, abstract visual set of paintings consisting of one or more colored geometric shapes on a white field. He visualized a state of feeling, and a sense of bliss and wonder. Mondrian took a different approach with tighter geometric orientation and stricter compositional order. He was also inspired by landscape but he interpreted it as a series of interlocking vertical

and horizontal lines. It would be hard to advance any definition of abstract expressionism without taking into account the vast and varied cultural and historical happenings that led to its birth. This artistic movement evolved over a long time. As we look closely at any of the members of the generation identified with abstract expressionism, their biographies reveal the whole experience of this artistic adventure. It was an odd reaction of the new America from the old Europe. For more than half a century, the general European public had been bombarded of a variety of art exercises. But new wave of artists in Europe and United States saw in change in its future. Abstract was a natural evolution. It would finally liberate artists from the claims of tradition and lift art to the

next level of heights. When the economic and ideological interests began to fade away, a fresh form of thinking evolved. It was not just people’s mental habits that changed the way of life, it was also the ways of life that changed people’s mental habits. The developments in science and technology over the twentieth century have been accompanied by an unprecedented new forms and means of communications. Born at the beginning of the twentieth century, the artists whom we link together under the name Abstract Expressionists were also the product of the same tension that produced the forms, formations and deformations of their history. It was then, the tension became an art. Willem de Kooning was born in 1904, Arshile Gorky again in 1904, Adolf Gottlieb in 1903, Hans Hoffman in

1880, Barnett Newman in 1905, Mark Rothko in 1903, Clifford Still in 1904, Jackson Pollock in 1912, Ad Reinhardt in 1913 and Robert Motherwell in 1915. These artists’ initial biographies were programmed around the people who were still living according to the principles set down in the nineteenth century. What artists like Pollock, de Kooning, Kline, Motherwell and others were able to realize in the late forties and early fifties went far beyond the possibilities that were opened up by recent influences. The artists ranged from thirty to forty-two years old then and were coming into the mature periods of their lives and were expressing the maturity of the art. The economic and cultural circumstances in the United States conditioned and defined their art- the crash of 1929, the