Abstract Expressionism The Simple Expression of Complex Thought Making Sense of a World Gone Mad • After WWII, artists in New York were eager to express their frustration in a world they perceived to be too much– like the Dadaists after WWI. • Barnet Newman, an artist associated with the movement, wrote: – "We felt the moral crisis of a world in shambles, a world destroyed by a great depression and a fierce World War, and it was impossible at that time to paint the kind of paintings that we were doing—flowers, reclining nudes, and people playing the cello." Influences • Although the war was an inspiration and a turning point for these artists, experimentation in style and subject matter had come from teachers who left Germany from the Bauhaus and came to the Northeast. • In addition, many were exposed to the Marxist realism of Diego Rivera and the Mexican Muralists. Carl Jung • The collective unconscious • Archetypes • His philosophies were very influential among the Abstract Expressionists– just like Freud with the Surrealists. Mark Rothko • "If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. I am interested in expressing the big emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom." Technique • https://www.khanacade • https://www.khanacade my.org/humanities/artmy.org/humanities/art1010/abstract-exp1010/abstract-expnyschool/abstractnyschool/abstractexpressionism/v/moma expressionism/v/moma -mark-rothko -painting-techniquerothko Jackson Pollock • "It doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement." That’s not art– it’s CHAOS! • Why study Jackson Pollock? • Watch “action painting” happen!