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Terms in this set (21)

A painting movement in which artists typically applied paint rapidly, and with force to
their huge canvases in an effort to show feelings and emotions, painting gesturally,
non-geometrically, sometimes applying paint with large brushes, sometimes dripping
or even throwing it onto canvas. Their work is characterized by a strong dependence
on what appears to be accident and chance, but which is actually highly planned.
Some Abstract Expressionist artists were concerned with adopting a peaceful and
mystical approach to a purely abstract image. Usually there was no effort to represent
subject matter. Not all work was abstract, nor was all work expressive, but it was
generally believed that the spontaneity of the artists' approach to their work would
draw from and release the creativity of their unconscious minds. The expressive
method of painting was often considered as important as the painting itself.
Artists who painted in this style include Hans Hoffman (German-American, 1880-
1966), Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903-1974), Mark Rothko (American, 1903-1970),
Willem De Kooning (Dutch-American, 1904-1997), Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980),
Barnett Newman (American, 1905-1970), Franz Kline (American, 1910-1962), William
Baziotes (American, 1912-1963), Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Philip Guston
(American, 1913-1980), Ad Reinhardt (American, 1913-1967), Robert Motherwell
(American, 1915-1991), Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994), and Helen Frankenthaler
(American, 1928-). Abstract Expressionism originated in the 1940s, and became
popular in the 1950s.