GD1 Art Movement- Abstract Expressionism Project- Design using Line

Posted on October 7th, 2019

Arshile Gorky The Liver is the Cock's Comb 1944

Abstract Expressionism was the first major art movement to start in America. It began in New York City, in the 1940s.

It was characterized by the sensuous use of paint, often on very large canvases, to convey powerful emotions. Most of the leading abstract expressionists were based in New York during the heyday of the movement (they are sometimes referred to as the New York School), and their critical and financial success (after initial opposition) helped New York to replace Paris as the world's leading centre of contemporary art, a position it has held ever since.

It was primarily a painting movement in which artists typically applied paint rapidly, and with force to their huge canvases in an effort to show feelings and emotions, non-geometrically, sometimes applying paint with large brushes, sometimes dripping or even throwing it onto canvas. Their work is characterized by a strong dependence on what appears to be accident and chance, but which is actually highly planned. Some Abstract Expressionist artists were concerned with adopting a peaceful and mystical approach to a purely abstract image. Usually there was no effort to represent subject matter. Not all work was abstract, nor was all work expressive, but it was generally believed that the spontaneity of the artists' approach to their work would draw from and release the creativity of theirunconscious minds. The expressive method of painting was often considered as important as the painting itself.

Jackson Pollock Number 31 1950. His style is known as "Action Painting"
Mark Rothko Untitled - Oil on canvas. His style is known as Color Field Painting.
Not all the artists associated with the term produced either purely abstract, or purely Expressionist work. Abstract Expressionists were influenced by Existentialist ideas, which emphasized the importance of the act of creating, not of the finished object. Most had a Surrealist background and sought to express their subconscious through their art. Although it is true that spontaneity or the impression of spontaneity characterized many of the abstract expressionist’s works, most of these paintings involved careful planning, especially since their large size demanded it.

Abstract Expressionists were greatly influenced by the Great Depression and also by the Social Realists. The political climate after World War II did not long tolerate the social protests of these painters.

The philosophy of Abstract Expressionism searches for answers to the questions of human existence. It addresses personal psychological battles, the external struggle between human-kind and nature, and the hunt for spiritual comfort. All of these concepts were expressed through abstraction, finding meaning in relating the act of painting with a release of subconscious feelings and desires. The movement had a profound impact on later generations of American artists, particularly in their use of color and materials.

Artists who painted in this style include Hans Hoffman (German-American, 1880-1966), Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903-1974), Mark Rothko (American, 1903-1970), Willem De Kooning (Dutch-American, 1904-1997), Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980), Barnett Newman (American, 1905-1970), Franz Kline (American, 1910-1962), William Baziotes (American, 1912-1963),Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Philip Guston (American, 1913-1980), Ad Reinhardt (American, 1913-1967), Robert Motherwell (American, 1915-1991), Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994), and Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-). Abstract Expressionism originated in the 1940s, and became popular in the 1950s.
Louise Nevelson, Sky Cathedral, painted wood (Abstract Expressionist sculpture)
Project- Abstract Expressionist Design using the art element LINE.

LINE is a mark with greater length than width. Lines can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal, straight or curved, thick or thin.

Lines add movement to a design by directing a viewers eye.

Size- 8" x 8" resolution 150. Name your file- last first abstract line

Create an abstract expressionist design that uses a variety of lines. Examples- straight, curvey, thick, thin, smooth, textured, precise, messy, horizontal, vertical, and diagonal.
Tips- Work to create visual balance by using elements in more than one place.
Work on many layers
Limit your colors

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