Unleashing Creativity Through Color and Form

Unleash your creative spirit through Abstract Expressionism, an extraordinary art movement that defies traditional representation. Discover its roots and how this iconic style adds vibrancy to living spaces.

Breaking from traditional realistic depictions, this expressive style focused more on emotive and conceptual ideas. By eliminating identifiable imagery, this creative form creates an open dialogue between artist and viewer.

Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock was born in Wyoming in 1912. At 18 he followed his older brother Charles to New York and enrolled at the Art Students League. There his teachers encouraged him to study Old Master paintings as well as mural painters such as Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros who inspired his art through experimental techniques, large scale works and their use of paint as medium. Their influence can still be seen today in his works.

After experiencing depression and alcoholism in the late 1930s, Pollock sought treatment from Jungian psychoanalysts. Jungian therapy focused on subconscious processes like dreams that Pollock later translated into his art through paintings like Male and Female (1940) containing interlocking shapes as an abstract motif. Pollock also sought inspiration from surrealist artists Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso who greatly impacted his style as it transitioned away from representational art forms.

At this point, Pollock developed his signature technique of dripping paint onto canvas. He would dribble paint across its surface, often leaving weeks between painting sessions for his unconscious to reveal what he wanted to portray in his art. Later, he would manipulate and chance paint trajectories until finally creating abstract ones which “veiled the image”.

Ultimately, this method was an unprecedented breakthrough for him. It allowed him to express the full range of his emotions on canvas; fear, hope and desire were among those expressed through painting; as well as express kinetic energy of his body through moving energetically around canvas painting surfaces, pouring paint from cans spontaneously and pouring over others with force of gravity – his version of automatism.

Though these innovations were innovative, he was unsuccessful at selling his works in galleries. In 1951, he tried out something completely different – creating “black pourings” – but this failed to catch on among collectors and he quickly switched back to painting colorful drip paintings.

Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning was one of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism and famously stated, “Every canvas is its own journey.” His statement perfectly captured his desire to stir emotions within viewers through geometric forms, organic forms and expressive brushwork that captured their essence as an art piece.

De Kooning was born into a wealthy Dutch family and developed an early interest in art from an early age. He served an apprenticeship with one of Rotterdam’s premier design firms before enrolling at the Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques to study. Later that same year he decided to stowaway aboard a ship bound for America and settled permanently in New York City.

De Kooning soon found himself surrounded by influential figures such as Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky and later Elaine Fried – which became his eventual wife. While De Kooning initially painted still life and figure compositions, over time his work became more biomorphic with surrealist influences becoming evident in it. Additionally, De Kooning developed an interest in Dutch movement De Stijl with its emphasis on purity of form and color purity.

By the late 1930s, he had made his mark as a portrait painter with works such as Two Men Standing and Man and Seated Figure (Classic Male). Concurrently, he explored lyrical abstraction through works like Elegy and Pink Landscape before finally merging both styles in works such as Women I.

De Kooning never lost his desire to explore the female form. A central theme in his Women series was its power to both soothe and alarm while conveying both vulnerability and sexual energy. While Pollock used bold brushwork that shouted for attention, de Kooning used dynamic incompletions like Excavation which conveyed movement as his subjects moved constantly around its perimeters until finally coming into definition – especially noticeable with monumental works like Excavation which used lyrical brushwork to create fluid spaces with open contours and moving planes.

Mark Rothko

Rothko is best-known for his monumental abstract canvases, yet his paper works reveal his groundbreaking spirit and vision. He produced nearly 1,000 paper works which he considered completed paintings – challenging our ideas about what counts as painting while providing insight into this iconic 20th-century painter’s career path.

Rothko was born Markus Rothkovitch in Latvia and settled first in Portland, Oregon before later moving to New York and enrolling at art school. While studying under Arshile Gorky – an influential painter known for biomorphic forms that would influence Rothko’s floating regions of color over colored grounds – Rothko sought to address deeper emotional and philosophical themes through his artwork, drawing influence from Expressionism while using mythological imagery and Surrealism to depict tragedy in his pieces.

Early in his career, he established the color field painting idiom that would define his work for decades to come. These paintings seemed to proclaim the spirituality of sensuality; materiality could glow with meaning while remaining physical at once. Witnessing such work was transformative for audiences at first sight, with subsequent encounters further heightening its effect.

Like other artists of his era, Rothko was preoccupied with art’s place within society and politics. Along with other Abstract Expressionists, he expressed concerns that authority in all forms – including that found within art – posed an imminent danger of subjugating culture into propaganda.

Abstract Expressionism flourished amid an uncertain political climate of the 1920s and 30s, when social conservatism and fear reigned supreme. Artists took great pleasure in exploring its limits while pushing for freedom of expression through this movement.

These works of this tumultuous period stand as poignant testaments to human ingenuity and the need to eliminate barriers between private and public spheres. Additionally, these works demonstrate art’s deep impactful connection with individuals.

Edith Upton

Upton’s work is distinguished by vibrant colors and thick gestural brushstrokes, featuring non-representational forms with energetic brushstrokes that evoke an energetic, upbeat experience. Her works continue to inspire artists today.

Upton was an early advocate of Abstract Expressionism and one of the first women painters to achieve critical acclaim as an artist. Her botanical paintings remain scientifically accurate records of British flora; they stand as testament to her dedication and are still used as teaching aids today.

Upton’s work stands apart from traditional figurative art by exploring human emotion and experience, challenging traditional notions of beauty while stirring deep emotions within her viewers. Her vibrant colors and expressive brushstrokes have inspired numerous contemporary artists.

Abstract Expressionist Upton explored the emotional impact of color. She was greatly inspired by Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko’s works, especially their technique of painting large rectangular canvases with fields of color. Upton developed her unique style through hard work on her craft – something which has delighted audiences worldwide over decades.

Upton was one of the many members of the New York School who was known for her feminist viewpoint and support of the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, she was an accomplished novelist whose books explored timeless themes like love, loss and redemption.

Abstract Expressionists held the belief that art should be free from recognisable subjects and emotions; its power was in its ability to evoke these reactions from viewers. Furthermore, Abstract Expressionists sought to connect their art to society at large in an attempt to reach a broader public.

Abstract Expressionism was a highly personal style, developed through each artist’s work. Born of World War II trauma and postwar economic depression, Abstract Expressionism sought to express society’s shifting ideologies through color and form – providing new modes of visual communication within society itself.

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