Realism – Major Feature Of What Is Not Abstract Expressionism

Many people look at abstract art and wonder whether abstract art is art or is it just the artist throwing paint on the canvas. Or what is a significant feature or characteristic that Abstract Expressionism art is not?

Abstract Expressionism is not about realism. The Abstract Expressionist artist did not try to paint a realistic painting but instead painted how they felt or saw the world. Abstract Expressionism is about freedom of expression and spontaneity in their artwork.

Major Feature Of What Is Not Abstract Expressionism – Realism

If you pick one feature of Abstract Expressionism, it must be realism. In Abstract Expressionism art, the artist did not try to paint a realistic picture in any way.

In Realism art or a realistic picture, the artist would try to use accurate, detailed unblemished descriptions in his art. In Realism, what the artist painted, he did not try to interpret it in any way.

Abstract Expressionism is the opposite of realism or a realistic painting. The artist would look at something in nature or his surroundings and would put his interpretation of spin on it. Many times to such a point that you could not even recognize what he had initially seen or painted.

Or the artist would have no reference to anything and instead would use drips of paint, brush marks, and gestural marks on the canvas. The artists are leaving it up to us to view the art and see what we see in it.

Significant Features Of What Is Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism is an art movement that started to put America, particularly New York City, on the map for great art. It is also an art movement that showed some of the best American art characteristics and styles.

Abstract Expressionism is a style of abstract art developed by a group of primarily New York-based artists in the 1940s and 50s. This group of artists is also part of the New York School.

The movement of Abstract Expressionism is marked by complete spontaneity along with gestural brushstrokes and marks. The painting is categorized into two comprehensive groups of painting: action painting and color field painting.

Abstract Expressionism And Action Painting

Abstract expressionism has an extensive group of paintings called action painting. The action painters are led by two painters, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

At the core of the action painting is spontaneity in the painting. The artist would use large brushes to make sweeping gestural marks; they would drip paint on the canvas using a stick or brush. The key was their spontaneity or impulses directed the creation of the painting.

Abstract Expressionism And Color Field Painting

The other type of Abstract Expressionism painting was led by another group, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still.

This group was deeply interested in myth and religion. They would create simple but vast areas of color for the viewer to have a meditative state when they viewed the painting.

The central aspect of the color field painting is that the artist would use large areas of the canvas with more or less a single flat color or only a few colors.

Characteristics Of Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism also marked a time when the world was changing. The world had just gotten over World War II.

Europe was still affected by the war’s effects, and many parts were still devastated. But the United States, on the other hand, was not affected as much by World War II. So Abstract Expressionism also marked a change when the art world shifted its focus from Paris, France, to New York.

That is why many of the characteristics of our abstract expressionism are also very American. Here are some aspects of Abstract Expressionism Art:

Abstract Expressionism Is About Valuing Freedom

At the heart of Abstract Expressionism is freedom. The artist has the freedom of choice to decide what and how they will put the paint on the canvas.

There are no set rules that an artist must put the painting on the canvas in a certain way or that the painting must look a certain way. That is why when you look at Abstract Expressionism art, you can see that many of the art look very different.

The Abstract Expressionism artist believed in their freedom to express themselves through their artwork in any way they saw fit. They completely tossed away many of the artistic rules from the past and set their own rules that were defined by their freedom of expression.

Abstract Expression Is About Spontaneity

Abstract Expressionism is about spontaneity. The artist was able to express themselves in any way that they saw fit to do so.

The values of the world are slowly changing. America and the world would soon go into the era of the 60s, known for hippies, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Abstractive Expressionism was the forerunner to this movement and the cultural shift that was taking place.

Jackson Pollock Drip Painting

Abstract Expressionism art was about spontaneity, everything from Jackson Pollock putting the canvas on the floor listening to music while drinking alcohol, and smoking a cigarette. At the same time, he danced around the canvas and poured paint layer upon layer.

Spontaneity and freedom were interlinked. Because the artist used spontaneity, it also gave them the freedom to express themselves as they chose to express themselves on the canvas.

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Why Did New Art Movements Develop In The Years Following World War 1?

Many of the art movements after World War 1 came about as a direct protest about the devastation and loss of human life in the First World War. These art movements also included cultural and political movements where like-minded artists band together to produce satirical and other art.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Why Did New Art Movements Develop In The Years Following World War 1?.

What Are The Main Characteristics Of Minimalism Art?

Minimalism art started in New York City in the 1960s. The minimalist artist would use limit their use of lines, shapes, and colors in their art. The artwork had no trace of the artist’s emotions in the art. Minimalism art is considered an extreme form of abstract art. The most important geometric shapes in minimalism art are the square and rectangle.

You can discover more by reading What Are The Main Characteristics Of Minimalism Art? by clicking here.

How Do Art Movements Begin?

An art movement usually begins as a specific philosophy, goal, or objective that a group of typical artists have. This could include a standard belief system or a belief in a common style of art. An art movement usually changes the artistic direction of the artwork for its time.

You can learn more by reading How Do Art Movements Begin? by clicking here.

Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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Realism - Major Feature Of What Is Not Abstract Expressionism