Abstract Expressionism – Anna Cook

This reading discusses art post World War II and the political and cultural effects that were related to it. Beginning this article, we see a trend in pro-nationalism as America becomes a part of WWII, which caused a rise in artists creating American propaganda. After WWII, the nation was crystallized as a world power, and promoted American citizens to buy many luxury items to promote economical stimulation. Artists embraced this boom in American culture by applying loud statements to their art.

From this era came action painters, such as Jackson Pollock, who expressed the changing world through gesturing movements. Color field art also developed in New York during this era, which brought about artists such as Clyfford Still. Both movements are reactionary to American culture at the time, and are considered “abstract expressionisms.”

I find it particularly interesting that both of these artistic trends seem to come when these artists lived in New York. I personally find New York to be artistically stimulating; however, many of these pieces reflect life, emotion, movement, and in particular nature. The question I have to ask then is where are these artists inspired? Is it New York that pushed their abstract-expressionist tendencies or did it simply bring together many artists who grew from each other’s work? Perhaps if anything, this shows the importance of looking at other artists in hope of inspiring your own work.

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