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Abstract Expressionism and First Generation American painting

Action painter Jackson Pollock is the most famous representative of the Abstract Expressionism movement.
1946 to 1960

Abstract expressionism was an American contemporary painter movement within the abstract art of the 20th century. The movement dominated the art world in the years 1946 to 1960. It was the first major international art movement after the Second World War and the first to have tis cradle in the United States, specifically in New York City. "First Generation American painting" is therefore a synonym for Abstract Expressionism, though the therm is more used to refer directly to the artists.

Prominent artists that represent this movement are Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston and Franz Kline.

The Dutch CoBrA art and Informal Painting are closely related to abstract expressionism. They were created in the same spirit and shared a large part of the principles. Abstract expressionism has created new opportunities for the artist. It has allowed him to fully concentrate on the visual problems of painting, without having to worry about figurative elements. In addition, the way in which a work is created ment a radical break with traditional painting. Pollock's paintings are more remnants of a pictorial act than a finished work in the traditional sense of the word.

Willem de Kooning in his Fourth Avenue studio, 1946. Photo: Harry Bowden.
Pearl Perlmuter working on a sculpture.
The studio of Mark Rothko.