Abstract Expressionism

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By Barbara Hess

Hailed as the first American-born art movement to have a worldwide influence, Abstract Expressionism denotes the non-representational use of paint as a means of personal expression. It emerged in America in the 1940s, with lead protagonists including Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning.

Abstract Expressionism spawned many different stylistic tendencies but two particularly prominent sub-categories: action painting, exemplified by de Kooning and Pollock, and color field painting, made most famous by Rothko. Throughout, Abstract Expressionists strove to convey emotions and ideas through the making of marks, through forms, textures, shades, and the particular quality of brushstrokes. The movement favored large-scale canvases, and embraced the role of accident or chance.

With featured works from 20 key Abstract Expressionist artists, this book introduces the movement which shifted the center of art gravity from Paris to New York and remains for many the golden moment of American art.

Each book in Taschen’s Basic Genre series features approximately 100 color illustrations with explanatory captions, a detailed illustrated introduction, a selection of the most important works of the epoch, each presented on a two-page spread with a full-page image and accompanying interpretation, as well as a portrait and brief biography of the artist.

Hardcover with jacket, 96 pages

Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.5 x 0.5 inches