Sep 29, 2011

TREND | Abstract Expressionism | A Meditative Art Style

                                                  Winter Time, Mira Lisa Schiratis

Abstract expressionism originated in the United States in the 1940’s and is known as a form of contemporary art that is nonrepresentational. This trend in contemporary art is sometimes referred to as meditative art because artists use intense brushstrokes to reveal spontaneous expression and use their freedom of technique. Large-scale canvases are used when artists are painting in this way, which is helpful because abstract expressionism is also called action painting. Mira Lisa Schiratis uses many colors in her painting “Winter Time” and let them drip down the large canvas. This is another aspect many artists do when creating art that is abstract.

                                           The key, Jackson Pollock 1946

Jackson Pollock, one of the most famous painters when using abstract expressionism, uses violent strokes and markings that really explain what this trend is all about. He believed that when he painted he was not aware of what he was doing, he just let it happen. Action painting is clear here because you can see the different angles the paint brush went and you can almost feel him intensely spreading the paint. Again, in abstract expressionism, color is a big aspect. The colors in this painting help us see how he was feeling at the time when he painted this work of art. To me, it looks as if he was excited or motivates about something in his life. Expression through the freedom of technique is illustrated well in this painting by Jackson Pollock.

                                                      Passing Particle, Greg Martin

Greg Martin used organic shapes and warm colors in “Passing time” which convey texture and boldness. The painting is less intense at a glance compared to the two paintings above, however, you can see the abstract expression in the brushstrokes and the shapes and circles used. Greg Martin started painting as a color field artist after pursuing his career as an artist already. Here he experimented with earth tone colors that are striking and intriguing. When thinking about abstract art in the sense of not having any boundaries and spontaneous expression, one would not think geometric shapes would be involved. However, shapes and lines are major aspects in abstract expression. Circles usually have many different meanings- unity, infinity, wholeness, female power. Yet, a particular meaning comes to mind when looking at this painting- the Sun. A circle is sometimes connected to the Sun or Mother Earth. Considering these meanings of a circle, the Earth toned colors and the circle displayed in the painting now seem to have a connection.

Abstract expression is more of an unconscious act of painting; the artist usually paints what they feel inside, rather than plan out every detail. Even though this trend began in the 1940s, it is still much appreciated and still admired. Artists still use this form of expression today.

Donna Brannin

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