Abstract Expressionism

Explain the Abstract Expressionism Movement.

Abstract Expressionism was an American post-World War II art movement. The World War led many influential European artists to leave their war torn countries to travel to America. This led to a dramatic increase in the exposure American artists got to European Modernism and other art movements such as Surrealism and Dada, which where the main influences to the movement.
The art movement received its name from the combination of the emotional intensity of the German Expressionists and the anti-figurative design of certain European Abstract art schools. The name was mainly applied to the artists working in New York in the 1940-50’s, also sometimes called the ‘New York School’, and was first used to define American art in 1946 by the art critic Robert Coates. However, the name was applied to artists who had quite different styles, and was even applied to work which is not especially abstract nor expressionist.
Despite the huge diversity of Abstract Expressionism, the movement can be split into two main catagories, Action painting and Colour Field painting. Action painting, sometimes called "gestural abstraction", is a style of non-representational painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work or concern of its artist. In contrast, Colour Field painting is characterized by canvases being covered entirely by large fields of solid colour. Abstract Expressionism was the first specifically American movement to achieve worldwide influence and also put New York City at the center of the art world, a role formerly filled by Paris.

Jackson Pollock
The youngest of five sons, Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in 1912, and grew up in Arizona and California, studying at Los Angeles' Manual Arts High School. In 1930,...