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Abstract Expressionism

This Prezi hopes to depict the grand explosion of art and ideas taking place in the United States after World War II.

Felipe Afanador

on 7 July 2013

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Transcript of Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism
What is Abstract Expressionism?
Historical Context
The Rise of the Movement
-An art movement that broke away from accepted and typical styles of art in both the technique and its subject

-Attempted to tap into universal inner sources and reflect on the human mind

- Valued spontaneity and improvisation

- Put more emphasis on the process of creating the art than the final product
Although the movement started in the early 1940's, many of the artists involved started their careers as artists in the 1930s

The result of two different small art movements prior:
Regionalism: Realist art movement shunning city life and rapid technological advances
Social Realism: Art movement depicting social and racial injustice and life's daily struggles

None of the abstract expressionists were satisfied with them and wanted to create works rich in content and meaning, thinking back to the past social responsibilities, yet avoiding provincialism and explicit politics
The Great Depression led to the development of government relief programs including the Works Progress Administration, a program for unemployed Americans, which allowed many artists to start their careers

The exposure to and assimilation of the European modernist movement influenced American artists
Museums of Modern Art started opening in 1929
by Felipe Afanador
Social Realism: american Gothic by Grant Wood
Regionalism: Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
What are they really trying to convey?
The works of Cubism and Abstract Art, Fantastic art, Dada, and Surrealism all contributed to this movement
Works of Matisse (left), Leger (bottom) and Picasso (right influenced these artists
Abstract expressionists were concerned by man's dark side and anxiously aware of human irrationality and vulnerability, as demonstrated in the war and its aftermath

Artists wanted to express these concerns in a new form of art with more meaning and more substance than its predecessors.

Movement started mostly in New York and comprised of a wide variety of styles
Who were the Key Players?
Jackson Pollock

Mark Rothko

Willem de Kooning
Jackson Pollock
Began to study painting in 1929 at the Art Student's League in New York under the Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton

Started out his career painting Regionalist-style paintings and was also influenced by Mexican muralist painters along with certain aspects of surrealism

By the 1940s he was painting in a completely abstract manner and developed many of his own artistic gestures
'Jack the Dripper'
- In 1947 he developed a completely new technique for painting consisting of pouring and dripping thinned paint onto raw canvas laid on the ground
- He manipulated the paint with sticks, rowels or knives and sometimes even achieved an impasto using a mixture of sand, broken glass, and other foreign matter
Mexican Muralist Influences
Jose Orozco: The Epic of American Civilization
Diego Rivera: The Flower Carrier
Siqueiros' mural on a wall
All-Over Style
The all-over style of painting avoided any points of emphasis or identifiable parts in the whole canvas
Abandoned the traditional idea of painting something in relation to something else
His paintings had no relation to the shape or the size of the canvas
He sometimes docked or trimmed them to suit the image
Pollock in Conclusion
In the 1950s Pollock made figurative quasi-figurative black and white works, modulated impasto paintings, and paintings in his all-over style

Pollock set the standard and paved the way for the Abstract Expressionist movement
Pollock's Beginnings and Influences
The goal of the abstract expressionists was to depict a timeless and powerful subject matter and looked to early myth and archaic art for inspiration
Pollock looked to ancient cultures and was even influenced by Native American sand paintings which were made by trickling thin lines of colored sand on a horizontal surface
Pollock hoped to achieve the Surrealist concept of 'psychic automatism' or a direct expression of the unconsciousness
Early abstract artists featured pictographic and biomorphic elements with their own personal touches to them
Mark Rothko
He was born in 1903 in Russia and emigrated to Oregon in 1913
He attended Yale from 1921-1923 on scholarship and left early to live in New York
In 1925 he studied under Max Weber at the Art Students League and participated in his first group exhibition in 1928
In 1935, along with the collaboration of William Baziotes, Gottlieb, and other artists, Rothko founded the Ten - a group of artists sympathetic to abstraction and expressionism, which presented until 1940
In the early 1940s, he worked hand in hand with Gottlieb and developed a painting style with mythological content, simple flat shapes, and imagery inspired by primitive art.
By the middle of the 40s, his work included surrealist techniques and images
Some of Pollock's Works
Easter and the Totem - 1953
Stenographic Figure - 1942
Male and Female - 1942
The Moon Woman - 1942
Rothko's Mature Style
In 1947 and 1949 taught at the California School of Fine arts where one of his colleagues was Clyfford Still.
In the late 1940's and early 50's Rothko began a style with frontal, luminous rectangles that appear to be floating on the canvas
He ended up painting murals the rest of his life until his suicide in 1970
Rothko's Paintings
No. 3/No.13

- Narrowly separated, rectangular blocks against a colored background
- Soft and irregular edges
- Used related tones to appear to barely fuse out of the background
- The green bar stands out among the orange around it
- Allows surfaces to breathe
- Hopes to express basic human emotions in them
No. 16 (Red, Brown, and Black)

- In 1957 Rothko abandoned the use of bright colors which had came to characterize many of his works
- For the rest of his career he painted with more shadowy, nocturnal colors giving more of a sense of atmospheric depth

- Part of Rothko's Black on Gray group
- Divides the canvas into distinct halves
- Limits himself to two colors
- Crisp white border
- Limited color palate and composition differs from his atmospheric Color Field paintings
No. 5/No.22

- Rectangles do not extend to the edges of the canvas and only appear to float over its surface
- Has a chromatic afterimage effect, meaning if you only look at one color segment individually, it affects your perception of those next to it
- The red0orange center has tints of the yellow above it and a tad of green
- The yellow has tints of the orange with blue
Williem de Kooning
Born in Rotterdam, Nethelands in 1904
Began to train as a commercial artists in 1916
In 1926, he emigrated to the US where he worked illegally as a commercial artist, window dresser, sign painter, and carpenter
From 1935-1939 he worked for the Federal Art Project in which he painted murals

de Kooning's Painting Life
His early pictures were influenced by Gorby's Surrealist style as well as Picasso's
Also highly influenced by Jackson Pollock which inspired him to do black-and-white abstract works in 1946
In 1950 he started his series of "Women"pictures which he would continue until the 1990s
Between 1957 and 1961 he also worked on abstract landscapes
In 1964 he received the "Presidential Medal of Freedom"
In 1970 he started sculpturing in bronze
Died in East Hampton, New York in 1997
de Kooning's Art

Largest painting up to 1950
Demonstrates his innovative style of expressive brushwork
Started this painting with an image of women working in a rice field, from an Italian neorealist film
His lines define anatomical parts such as: bird and fish shapes, human noses, eyes, teeth, necks, and jaws, demonstrating the tension between abstraction and figuration
Demonstrates the masterful painting process in which he built up the surface, scraped down its paint layers, many times for months, until he achieved the desired effect
Presented at the 1954 Venice Biennale
Used oil and enamel sign paint
Used tracing paper to transfer segments of figurative drawings and then applied layers of paint
The black forms bound by white vaguely resemble human figures and inanimate objects
The paint drips, bleeds, congeals, and disolves into delicate streaks resulting in this densely abstract artwork full of meaning
Woman V
Part of a series of six paintings
Thsi one, started in the autumn of 1952 along with winter woman vI had a darker palette than the previous ones with no summer pastels used
Used the image of the woman as a rejection of the radical prohibition on depictions of women figure
Influenced by Mesopotamian figurines
The grinning mouths came from his habit of cutting out the mouths from magazine pin-ups and attaching them to his work
Number 5 - 1948
Sold for $140 million dollars in November, 2006, the highest price ever paid at auction for a painting
Perfect example of äction painting"as he dripped and splattered layer upon layer of paint to create these chaotic yet unique patterns
What YOU'LL see at the SFMOMA
Guardians of the Secret - Jackson Pollock (1943)
Untitled - Clyfford Still (1960)
No. 14, 1960 - Mark Rothko (1960)
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