Action Painting Movement Overview

“ The apples were n’t brushed off the postpone in order to make room for perfect relations of space and color. They had to go sol that nothing could get in the way of the act of painting. ” “ A sketch is the preliminary mannequin of an image the mind is trying to grasp. To work from sketches arouses the misgiving that the artist placid regards the sail as a space where the take care records its contents – preferably than itself the ‘mind ‘ through which the painter thinks by changing a surface with paint. ” “ The painter nobelium longer approached the easel with an image in his judgment ; he went up to it with material in his handwriting to do something to that other while of substantial in movement of him. The image would be the resultant role of this meet. ” “ Every so much a painter has to destroy paint. Cézanne did it. Picasso did it with Cubism. then Pollock did it. He busted our mind of the word picture all to hell. ”

Summary of Action Painting

The little, personal act of paint was not going to spark revolutionary deepen, but in the very act of carving out a space to engage in a creative dialogue with materials – paint and canvas – the artist registered an act of rebellion within the conformist culture of the Cold War. Coined by art critic Harold Rosenberg in 1952 as an alternative to Abstract Expressionism, Action Painting emphasized the rotatory nature of the artist ‘s decision to paint. Rosenberg elaborated on ideas of painting as an natural process he had heard in artists ‘ studios and wove them with Marxist hypothesis, Existential philosophy, and his thoughts on drama to articulate his description of the newfangled american paint. What resulted on the sail was, in Rosenberg ‘s words, “ not a picture but an event. ” action Painters were not interest in depicting illusionistic scenes but rendering the energy and motion of life in a visible means on the poll.

While typically associated with gestural paint, Action Painting was meant to encompass a wide array of artists, from Jackson Pollock to Barnett Newman, although the artists themselves shied away from adopting the nickname. While Rosenberg ‘s friendly proximity with the artists gave him access to how the artists were talking about their painting, Rosenberg ‘s theory of Action Painting was largely overshadowed by Clement Greenberg ‘s more formalist readings of Abstract Expressionist paint. His description spawned many interpretations and misreadings, some of which came to fruition in late Performance Art, but many scholars have worked in recent years to rehabilitate Rosenberg ‘s contributions to the understand of Abstract Expressionism .

Key Ideas & Accomplishments

  • One of the main tenets of Abstract Expressionism was the evasion of a collective style. Each artist painted in his or her own way, developing individual, signature styles. Recognizing this diversity, Rosenberg’s emphasis on the process of painting instead of style allowed him to speak of the artists collectively in a way that highlighted their motivations instead of the way their paintings looked.
  • Action Painting is predicated on the idea that the creative process involves a dialogue between the artist and the canvas. Just as the artist affects the canvas by making a mark on it, that mark in turn affects the artist and determines the trajectory of the next mark. As Rosenberg explained, “Each stroke had to be a decision and was answered by a new question.” While spontaneity is key to Action Painting, it is always within the parameters of this dialogue.
  • Rosenberg linked Action Painting with the artist’s biography, but he was careful to point out that he did not mean that we should scrutinize the painting to find references to the artist’s private life or to find clues about the artist’s psychological state. Instead, Rosenberg meant something more existential in the sense that in painting the artist was not necessarily expressing the self but creating the self.

Artworks and Artists of Action Painting

progression of artJackson Pollock: Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) (1950) 1950

Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)

artist : Jackson Pollock many scholars speculate that Jackson Pollock was Rosenberg ‘s primary exemplary for his description of Action Painting, although evenly estimable arguments have been made for early artists as well. even if he was not the chief artist Rosenberg had in mind, Pollock ‘s paintings have become synonymous with Action Painting. Autumn Rhythm is a quintessential drip paint, with its all-over typography of a dizzy web of black, brown, and white enamel paint.

To execute this knead, Pollock laid out a large unstretched canvas on the floor of his studio, and then, walking around the four edges of the canvas, he systematically poured, dribbled, and discard key across its surface. In one of his rare written statements, Pollock explained, “ When I am in my paint, I ‘m not aware of what I ‘m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted ‘ period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the effigy, etc., because the paint has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the paint that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well. ”

Pollock ‘s particularly performative way of painting is of course more active than most painters ‘, but his ability to respond to newly lines and forms as they emerge in the painting process speaks to his spontaneity and his date in a dialogue with his materials. While many scholars speak of Pollock ‘s work as a metaphor for the unconscious – its incipient skeins of paint suggesting the incipient nature of our pre-conscious minds – in reality, Pollock ‘s command and decision-making processes in the act of painting create a latent hostility with that understand. It is, though, this identical back and forth between painter and paint that was at the heart of Rosenberg ‘s theme of Action Painting. Enamel on canvas – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkFranz Kline: Chief (1950) 1950


artist : Franz Kline Franz Kline ‘s arrant black and white compositions of boldface brushstrokes make him one of the quintessential gestural Abstract Expressionists. The simplicity of the colors and means, though, belies the much complex compositions that balance strong verticals and horizontals, break curves, and imperfectly formed roundels. importantly, Kline does not precisely paint black strokes onto a white land but besides paints the white adjacent to and on top of the black, setting up a beguiling latent hostility between figure and earth.

Many of the Abstract Expressionists, including Kline, insisted that their paintings were spontaneous acts, without preplanning. While one might assume that this spontaneity means the paintings were done cursorily in one sit, the actual action suggests otherwise. Kline, in fact, was constantly drawing, making little, black ink drawings on any newspaper he could find, flush reduce telephone reserve pages. Some of his paintings are evocative of one or sometimes a combination of these drawings.

In his test on Action Painting, Rosenberg recounts a conversation with an nameless artist who complains that one of his colleagues – besides nameless – is old fashioned because he works from sketches, but Rosenberg counters this artist ‘s protestation by saying, “ There is no reason why an act can not be prolonged from a piece of newspaper to a canvas. Or repeated on another scale and with more see. A sketch can have the function of a brush. ” here, Rosenberg subverts the preconception that plan, or sketch, an estimate before one goes to the canvas is anathema by arguing that there is no rule or formula about how long an natural process takes or that a paint is merely one action. Rosenberg ‘s conception of Action Painting complicates notions of spontaneity, and Kline ‘s Chief, when carefully studied, embodies that complexity. anoint on canvas – The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkWillem de Kooning: Woman III (1951-53) 1951-53

Woman III

artist : Willem de Kooning Willem de Kooning shocked the art universe when he showed a Women series at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1953. many critics decried his “ return ” to the figure without understanding that de Kooning had constantly painted abstractly and representationally more or less at the same fourth dimension. But even by this early date, Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting were yoked to abstraction, and the revelation of the human body in de Kooning ‘s latest work seemed like an diss to avant-garde artwork.

De Kooning dodged accusations of misogyny by talking about his Women as modern equivalents of ancient idols and trying to point out the humor in his representations. The controversies of capable matter digression, Rosenberg surely would have counted de Kooning among the Action Painters, as Action Painting had little to do with capable matter and most to do with the artist ‘s attitude toward painting. In describing abstract paint, Rosenberg wrote, “ The apples were n’t brushed off the table in order to make room for arrant relations of space and color. They had to go so that nothing would get in the way of the act of painting. ” De Kooning was a rare artist who was able to meld the modernist insistence on materiality and two-dimensionality with a recognizable discipline matter in his act of painting.

In an dateless note, de Kooning wrote, “ With familiar proportions I mean the acquaintance you have when you look at person ‘s big toe when close to it, or a kris in a hand or a nose – or lips or a ty [ thigh ]. The drawing those parts make are interchangeable one for the early and become so many spots of paint or brushstrokes. ” body parts for de Kooning are less about their representational serve and become rather abstract, ductile forms and bits of paint to be put together like any geometric shapes or colors. Furthermore, de Kooning ‘s willingness to buck the strictures that avant-garde art has to be outline made him more original than most in Rosenberg ‘s estimate. As he told the artwork critic David Sylvester, “ It ‘s in truth absurd to make an double, like a homo effigy, with key today, when you think about it, since we have this trouble of doing or not doing it. But then all of a sudden it was even more absurd not to do it. So I fear that I ‘ll have to follow my desires. ” petroleum on sail – private collection of Steven A. CohenMark Rothko: No. 3 (1953) artwork Images 1953

No. 3

artist : Mark Rothko In a provocative 1958 article, cougar and critic Elaine de Kooning declared both Franz Kline and Mark Rothko American Action Painters. While most would promptly concede that Kline is an action Painter, with his gestural compositions, most have not considered Rothko or other Color Field painters as Action Painters. This oversight, however, misses one of the key aspects of Rosenberg ‘s Action Painting. As Elaine de Kooning puts it, “ What distinguished these Americans was the moral attitude which they shared toward their artwork ; that is to say, they saw the capacity of their art as moral rather than aesthetic. ”

If one looks long enough and closely adequate, one sees the layers, the strokes, the dribbles of paint that Rothko employed to create ethereal, intimate paintings. In choosing to paint alternatively of entering into some other profession, Rothko was committed to declaring his own self – whatever that might entail – in his painting. Action Painting always carries with it an experiential position ; they are, in de Kooning ‘s words, “ an extension of [ the artist ‘s ] life. ”

In wanting to evoke a stove of human emotions, this moral property of the act of painting besides carries over to the act of viewing. Rothko was peculiarly sensitive to the initiation of his works : how eminent or low they hung on the wall, their proximity to one another, the fall in the gallery. additionally, the scale of paint was crucial, as he explained that he painted large paintings precisely because he wanted “ to be very intimate and human. ” In attempting to make a mastermind and forcible relationship between the painting and the viewer, Rothko hoped that the viewer might besides experience her own existential being. As he said, “ I take the liberty to play on any string of my universe. I might, as an artist, be lyrical, black, bathetic, humorous, tragic. I allow myself all possible latitude. Everything is grist for the mill. ” He hoped the viewer would recognize the same. oil on canvas – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkJoan Mitchell: Untitled (1954) artwork Images 1954


artist : Joan Mitchell Around 1950, Joan Mitchell moved to New York City to pursue her painting career and fell in with the Abstract Expressionists working and hanging out near Greenwich Village. normally dubbed a “ second generation ” Abstract Expressionist because of her old age, Mitchell ‘s evocative gestural abstractions stand up to any of the paintings done by the first generation. While she gained early acclaim among critics, her gender kept her on the periphery of narratives of Abstract Expressionism. And while Action Painting is much caricaturized as being involved in heroic masculinity, Mitchell ‘s paintings show that masculinity in and of itself has short to do with Action Painting.

In “ The american Action Painters, ” Rosenberg wrote, “ A paint that is an act is inseparable from the biography of the artist. ” Rosenberg did not mean that one should read the paint as clues to the artist ‘s biography or psychological state. He went on, “ The painting itself is a ‘moment ‘ in the adulterate assortment of his life – whether ‘moment ‘ means the actual minutes taken up with spotting the canvas tent or the entire duration of a limpid play conducted in gestural lyric. ” In Mitchell ‘s Untitled, one gets a sense of this unfold drama with the amalgamation of strokes and colors. Layering vertical and horizontal strokes of diverse colors, Mitchell creates an all-over writing, although the strokes are densest in the central contribution of the canvas. Within the blue browns, blacks, and gray, strokes of red and blue activate the kernel. One has the vaguest sense that forms, possibly even figures, seem to want to coalesce but good as cursorily disband, never quite coming together in a recognizable form.

Mitchell frequently read poetry or listened to music while she prepared to paint. The emotions aroused in these activities combined with her memories, farseeing by and stream, to create active compositions. As the Joan Mitchell Foundation web site explains, “ Mitchell ‘s process is informed by a range of emotional states, points in time, and positions in landscape, and her exploit is an avowal that people experience landscapes, emotions and memories in a complex, coordinated means. ” This is precisely the adulterated, messy life that Rosenberg talk of in describing the source of Action Painting. anoint on canvas tent – collection of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New YorkJean Fautrier: La Garrigue (1956) artwork Images 1956

La Garrigue

artist : jean Fautrier Fautrier ‘s La Garrigue demonstrates the close relative of european Tachiste paint to the contemporaneous, american manner of Action Painting. The french word tache means spot or stir, and Tachisme paintings tend to be expressionist and gestural like much Abstract Expressionist art, but possibly a little more polished-looking. In La Garrigue, which means scrubland, Fautrier focused on one central sphere of dry, densely-applied paint, suggesting a compositional device that was absent from the “ all over ” appearance of much New York School painting from this time. Fautrier creates a relationship between a “ ground ” – the cloudy gloomy edges of the sour – and a “ digit ” – the pack sweeps of green paint at the center of the work. This dense crust of paint on the bring ‘s surface reveals the swing of Fautrier ‘s brush, registering the artist ‘s creative gesture. indeed, one infers from the paint a fraught gesture, full moon of skittish department of energy. Despite the exploit ‘s allusion to landscape, the paint itself takes on the role of subject-matter, and one is invited by Fautrier to address both the paint open and his act of making as topics of interest.

In his seminal text of 1952, Un Art Autre ( An Other Art ), the french critic Michel Tapié identified Fautrier as a harbinger to Tachisme and Art Informel, a broader class that included a diverseness of abstract paint that pushed traditional boundaries. One particularly french expression to Fautrier ‘s Tachiste mode of Action Painting is, as learner Sarah Wilson has described, his concept of “ the exploit as dureé “, or “ duration ” – the notion that a sour reveals itself as physical bodily process enacted over fourth dimension. La Garrigue ‘s involved sweeps of chummy paint register the gesture of the artist ‘s hand, and it contributes a intense, pessimistic relish to the across-the-board array of Action Painting being made in the years after the second World War. oil on newspaper mounted on sail – Museé d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, ParisKazuō Shiraga: Mr. Stella (1958) artwork Images 1958

Mr. Stella

artist : Kazuō Shiraga Kazuō Shiraga made this brash, heavily worked painting with his feet. By attaching a lasso to the ceiling of his studio, Shiraga was able to suspend himself over composition laid on the floor. From there he proceeded to sweep his paint-covered feet over the canvas. This method removed a degree of control from the artist. While our hands are deft and capable of finely nuanced manipulations of paint, our feet are awkward and give an imprecise polish. It was Shiraga ‘s purpose, therefore, to make himself a hostage to the accidents of a less control action.

Mr. Stella is composed of a dense, messy ground of red brown paint, inconsistently applied and not reaching to the edges of the newspaper. Into this ground Shiraga has made some approximate sweep motions with his feet, and a number of arch and circles can be seen. No single element of the paint stands out, and it is apparent that he was working wet key into wet paint, adding new layers of paint when lower layers had not however dried, frankincense disturbing each layer as he worked.

The artist ‘s decision to use his feet alternatively of his hands reveals a hope to explore a more involve, physical way of painting. Mr. Stella has significant relationships with early key moments in the history of Action Painting, and the decisiveness to work on the floor suggests an obvious debt to Jackson Pollock. When the Art News article “ Pollock Paints a painting, ” illustrated with photos by Hans Namuth of Pollock painting, made its way to Japan, avant-garde japanese artists took note. More than their american counterparts, the japanese artists took the work and materiality of Action Painting ( Gutai means “ concreteness ” ) to new levels.

The painting ‘s title besides refers to another american artist, Frank Stella, a apparently strange reference to a Minimalist artist who would seem to be on the antonym end of the spectrum of Abstract Expressionism. possibly Shiraga took pastime in Stella ‘s holocene engagement with a serial of geometric black paintings that emphatic materiality and an about mechanical march of making because of their concreteness. In summation, the artist ‘s use of his body as a paintbrush prefigures the experiments of Yves Klein in 1960, who would use women ‘s bodies as a paintbrush in his Anthropometries. Mr. Stella is an significant and early case of performance in art, where the event of making came to be of peer importance to the finished work of art itself. petroleum and japanese newspaper on canvas tent – Osaka City Museum of Modern Art, Osaka, Japan

Allan Kaprow: 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (1959) artwork Images 1959

18 Happenings in 6 Parts

artist : Allan Kaprow obviously, a operation is not a paint, but Kaprow ‘s “ happenings ”, a term he coined for his performances, are profoundly indebted to Jackson Pollock and ideas of Action Painting. This was one of the earliest and most meaning of Allan Kaprow ‘s happenings, held at the Reuben Gallery in New York in late 1959. Kaprow had introduced the mind of a performance-based artwork, drawing on commonplace materials, in an article from a year earlier called “ The Legacy of Jackson Pollock. ” Kaprow felt that Pollock had taken painting arsenic far as it could go, right up to the credit line where paint spills over the edges of the canvases, covering the remaining walls and entering into real number life. Kaprow ‘s happenings existed in real space, not the walls of the museum and gallery, and the present, the here and immediately. Remnants of Action Painting were introduce in 18 Happenings, with the gallery divided into three “ rooms ” by translucent credit card sheet, which were collaged with painterly interventions. It should however be noted that Rosenberg felt that the move to performance-based art was a misread of Action Painting, and he continued to insist that the autonomy of the painting itself was all-important.

While Action Painters were concerned with how viewers approached their paintings, Kaprow ‘s happenings sought to collapse the hierarchy of artist and audience by loosening the artist ‘s manipulate of events and making the audience an active part in the performance. Kaprow was not alone in his performance – an ensemble was required for the melodious and theatrical pieces that he programmed. What is more, the hearing was issued a booklet of instructions on how to proceed through the operation. The booklet explained, “ The performance is divided into six parts … Each function contains three happenings which occur at once. The beginning and end of each will be signalled by a bell. At the goal of the performance two strokes of the bell will be listen … There will be no applause after each specify, but you may applaud after the sixth rig if you wish. ” Kaprow downplayed the artist ‘s expressivity and intentional meaning and transformed the universe of art into a collective process. foremost performed at the Reuben Gallery, New York

Beginnings of Action Painting


A photograph of the critic Harold Rosenberg The art historian Nicholas Chare has written that “ the dynamics of action, as presented by Rosenberg, have ocular precursors in artwork of the by. ” One might go binding to Michelangelo ‘s drawings or even Rembrandt ‘s paintings, but more immediately, one can point to Manet and the Impressionists, who emphasized the physical process of painting by not hiding the brushstrokes that made up the surfaces of their paintings, and later, the Surrealists, who promoted automatic draw that was not mediated by a conscious decision-making process. relatively, a theory of sculpture emerged in the early twentieth century that laid special stress on Direct Carving. From the 1910s onwards, the likes of Eric Gill and subsequently Henry Moore promoted the idea that carving and its visible effects were crucial to the finished sour itself. These ideas were translated into compelling prose by the british artist and writer Adrian Stokes, whose book The Stones of Rimini was published in 1934. Rosenberg, then, in emphasizing action elevated a certain quality of execution that was already deliver in the western tradition of artwork. While Rosenberg did acknowledge that american pilfer art may resemble european forebears, the American ‘s motivation for abstraction, their stress on process, was decidedly different and carried an existential, flush moral, quality .

Action Painting’s Post-War Context

Rosenberg embraced the Marxist ideas that circulated among the Leftist intelligentsia and bohemia during the 1930s, and his friendships with authoritative thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, her conserve Heinrich Blücher, Paul Goodman, and Kenneth Burke likely informed his own intend about identity, agency, and action. It was during this time that he started confluence and hanging out with the artists who he would by and by write about. He was familiar with the earlier Dadaists who used their art to vehemently critique the acculturation and society that led to the First World War, and he heard artists like Herbert Ferber and Willem de Kooning talking about the canvas as an arena and paint as a struggle. In the side of a lay waste to war, an increasingly bureaucratized society, and an encroaching mass acculturation that promoted conformity over individual creativity, Rosenberg set out to probe the ways artists responded to this new era in their artwork. originally written to introduce a european consultation to the new post-war american paint, Rosenberg ended up publishing his test “ The american Action Painters ” in the December 1952 write out of the outstanding magazine Art News. He did n’t mention any artists by appoint, but it was clear that he was speaking of the small group of vanguard painters in New York City. peculiarly after World War II, there was a growing sense that something new and wholly unrelated to the preceding “ values ” of art was required. While “ The american Action Painters ” is most celebrated for providing a description of Action Painting, one of its larger points is that in the inflame of the commodification of Modern Art ( he capitalizes this to distinguish it from art made in the modern era ) and its uses and abuses by cultural elites, this modern painting has not found a larger consultation. In fact, with this newly debased, democratic culture, in which art lacked meaning and did not have an necessity quality, Modern Art, in Rosenberg ‘s estimate, could be attached as a superficial label to anything that struck one as being novel or unfamiliar. He was concerned that Action Painting had not been acknowledged for what it was – a profoundly physical affirmation of homo life in an increasingly dehumanize society. Rosenberg and the painters he described were not only anxious to escape and surpass the precedents of european artistic achievements, they were besides tidal bore to transform the basis on which art itself was understood. Rosenberg distinguished between the merely ocular nature of all preceding art, on one hand, and the action-led nature of Action Painting, on the other. At the kernel of Action Painting was a desire for homo life, the movement and gesture of the artist, to emerge as the primary point of matter to in an artwork. In one deference, Action Painting was a reaction to the dehumanising effects of mechanised war and the affecting consequences of engagement in a bloody war. For Rosenberg, furthermore, this affirmation of human life besides grew from the frustrations of economic stagnation. As the artwork historian Fred Orton described, since the Great Depression in the 1930s a “ common sense of blind alley ” developed among certain american intellectuals, who came to feel an acute need for radical change. Rosenberg was one of them, and for him, Action Painting was partially a means of expressing revolutionary political intent .

Contentious critics

Within the annals of Abstract Expressionism, Rosenberg ‘s equal was Clement Greenberg, another big art critic who was one of the Abstract Expressionists ‘ most significant advocates. Greenberg ‘s approach to the raw american paint was formal ; that is, he concentrated his criticism on paint ‘s specificity. Greenberg contended that each artwork needed to focus on what made it alone ; in painting ‘s case, its flatness. rather of representing, or illustrate, a cubic world, painting should explore its own perfume, its own two dimensionality. Greenberg imagined art ‘s build up to be away from representation, as such, and towards greater abstractedness. While both championed outline art, Rosenberg ‘s formulation of Action Painting as an existential act might be regarded as a riposte to the formalism espoused by Greenberg. Rosenberg was less concerned than Greenberg with stylistic aesthetics or the progress of modern artwork, and his put among the artists put him closer in touch with how the artists spoke about their ferment. While Greenberg knew the artists personally and visited their studios, Rosenberg hung out with the artists in social settings such as The Club and the Cedar Tavern and was more ensconce within the group. This advantage sharpen gave him a singular insight into the artists ‘ motivations and helped him to formulate his estimate of Action Painting, and in fact, a lot of what Rosenberg writes in the test is an try to give voice to the artists themselves. In his order, it was the act of making that counted, not the ball qualities of flatness, agreement, channel, and color .

Action Painting: Concepts, Styles, and Trends

Gesture Painting

action Painting has become synonymous with the gestural painting of artists adenine diverse as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline. Most typically, the action of Action Painting is associated with how the artist puts paint on poll. The abstract Expressionists were not using bantam brushes and finely putting paint on the canvass. These gestural painters much used big brushes to make sweep strokes across the sail, and it was the action of that gesture, of moving not good one ‘s hand but oftentimes one ‘s entire branch, that came to define Action Painting in the popular resource. The paint stroke is read as the index of the artist ‘s movement. The physical action of the painter is most excellently illustrated in Hans Namuth ‘s 1951 movie and photograph of Pollock painting. We see pollack moving around the edges of his canvas – sometimes evening stepping into it – dipping a instrument into the can of paint, and directing the paint onto the canvas by reaching his weapon over the space and flicking the paint off of the brush. Pollock ‘s skeins of dribble lines, flicked and splattered marks, and pools of paint invite a spectator to think about the actions that Pollock used to make them. The manner the drip paintings were made is inseparable from the means they look. Among many others, the output of Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Norman Bluhm, Franz Kline, and Hans Hofmann demonstrated highly person styles all of which in some way drew attention to the act of execution – the sweep of a load brush for de Kooning, a wild splash of key for Bluhm, a flog of black paint for Kline. In all these painters ‘ work, the manner of murder became the content of the workplace .

Color Field Painting

The equation of gesture painting and Action Painting is largely a product of subsequent interpretations of Rosenberg ‘s idea, and scholars and critics much overlook the fact that Rosenberg thought that artists such as Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Clyfford hush, and even Ad Reinhardt fell within the kingdom of Action Painting. While Clyfford still would late repudiate Rosenberg ‘s ideas of action, he himself often spoke of the act of painting. In 1952, the like class as Rosenberg ‘s essay was published, still wrote, “ We are now committed to an unqualified act, not illustrating outwear myths or contemporary alibi. One must accept entire responsibility for what he executes. And the measurement of his enormousness will be in the depth of his insight and his courage in realizing his own vision. ” Rosenberg ‘s explanation of the american artists ‘ motivations would echo still ‘s expansive pronouncement. Color Field Painting Movement foliate The gesture that Rosenberg wrote about in his test “ The american Action Painters ” is the initial gesture of putting paint on the sail. As he explained, “ The adult moment came when it was decided to paint … equitable TO PAINT. The gesticulate on the canvas tent was a gesture of liberation …. ” For Rosenberg it was not essential that the paint on the poll had to look gestural. In an extreme learn, about any painting could be an Action Painting, and one of the most common criticisms of Rosenberg ‘s idea is that one can not judge an Action Painting based on how it looks but rather must infer the authenticity of the artist ‘s intentions. Rosenberg, though, would not go so far as to claim Rembrandt or Monet as Action Painters, as he was specifically talking about a group of like-minded artists working contemporaneously in New York City .

Tachisme and the Second School of Paris

In their own reply to the devastations wrought by World War II, european artists developed their own interpretation of Abstract Expressionism, or Action Painting. Tachisme was a european movement in painting closely related to Art Informel and Art Brut and partially developed by the critic Michel Tapié. Like the New York School, the second School of Paris included a assortment of artistic interests. One outstanding artist associated with the terminus, Jean Fautrier, used his canvases to suggest the texture of bodily suffering. Employing automatist methods, his paintings were much unplanned and look swiftly painted, concealing the involved proficiency he used. Another painter associated with Tachisme, Nicolas de Staël, sought to reconcile painterly abstraction with a implicative kind of representation. His paintings from 1950 onwards demonstrate an increasing interest in the imminence of painting – the lotion of a load brush to canvas – while continuing to suggest the salient lines of a landscape, with foregrounds and horizons .


In 1954, a brusque time after Rosenberg developed Action Painting in America, a group of japanese artists clustered around Jirō Yoshihara in the belittled city of Ashiya, near Osaka. They were interest in creating artworks that made visible the act of making. Yoshihara had been an early initiate of abstraction in Japan. Seeking to develop a more coherent educate of painting, he paid for and led the foundation garment of the Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai, the Concrete Art Association. Unlike the american Action Painters, Gutai was highly organized, publishing its own eponymous journal and holding regular group exhibitions. The leading contributors to the group were Kazuō Shiraga and Atsuko Tanaka. As the 1950s progressed, proponents of this dynamic mode of painting become increasingly mindful of connections between the American, japanese, and european painters of the time. In 1958, a large exhibition of study from all three continents was held in Tokyo at the Takashimaya department store. The International Art of a New Era, partially curated by Michel Tapié, the leading critic of Art Informel in France, was a major milestone towards the external recognition of the Action Painting mode. Gutai Movement foliate

Later Developments – After Action Painting

Cy Twombly - Untitled (1970). Twombly made several paintings that recalled handwriting exercises scrawled on a chalkboard After the initial generation of Action Painters, painters like Francis Bacon and Cy Twombly developed their own distinctive gestural styles. In his early paintings, Twombly in detail took the gesture of the Action Painter, sometimes thought of in terms of alone handwriting, and emptied it of its experiential grandiosity and emotion. Countering the Abstract Expressionists ‘ insistence on identity, Twombly downplayed the character of the artist as original godhead, highlighting the mechanical nature of writing in his blackboard paintings and the anonymity of graffito .Allan Kaprow, <i>Chicken</i> (1962), one of his many Happenings” class=”lazyload” height=”300″ src=”” width=”201″/> More broadly, however, Action Painting was superseded by those artists who took the painters ‘ rejection of Pictorialism one step foster. Where Action Painting denied the importance of “ the aesthetic, ” some artists claimed that there did not evening need to be a end, or text file, of the aesthetic dissemble, emphasizing the centrality of the creative act in and of itself. In effect, Performance Art and its relatives took the “ paint ” out of Action Painting. Allan Kaprow ‘s “ happenings, ” sought to reject the materials of painting all in all. Kaprow wanted an art that was made from the gorge of one ‘s immediate surroundings – not the abstruse confections of paint practised by Action Painting. </p>
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Yves Klein ‘s early performances were highly significant in marking the deterioration of Action Painting ‘s philosophy. His Anthropometries, staged in 1960 and using women as “ living paintbrushes ‘ ” sought to remove the artist from any engagement with the application of rouge but continued to develop Rosenberg ‘s notion by explicitly revealing the march of making. Where Rosenberg asked audiences to think about a painting in terms of what the artist did in the privacy of the studio, Klein boldly stepped into the public gaze and made a identical public demonstration of what went into the reach of his influence. Despite Rosenberg ‘s subsequent criticism of performance-based art, which he took to be a misread of Action Painting, Klein ‘s innovations inspired a generation of artists and promote directions in artwork stigmatize .

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