Home > Art Lounge > Art History, Art Now > Abstract Expressionism In Art

Abstract Expressionism In Art

Abstract Expressionism is characterized by several key features and artistic tendencies.

Abstract Expressionism In Art
Automatism A. , 1966, Robert Motherwell
Abstract Expressionism In Art
Japanese Maple, 2005, Helen Frankenthaler
Abstract Expressionism In Art
Seal Sail (SF-92), 1969, Sam Francis
Abstract Expressionism In Art
Periscope, 1981, Jasper Johns

Non-Representational Art

Abstract Expressionism prioritises non-representational or non-objective art, meaning that it does not attempt to depict recognisable objects or figures. Instead, it focuses on the expression of emotions, ideas, and inner experiences through abstract forms.


Spontaneity and Gesture

Artists working within Abstract Expressionism often emphasise spontaneous and gestural brushwork. They value the act of creation and the physicality of the artist’s movements, allowing their emotions and instincts to guide the application of paint.


Emotional and Psychological Expression

Abstract Expressionists sought to convey raw and intense emotions through their art. They explored the depths of human emotions, often tapping into their own subconscious and inner psyche to express feelings such as joy, angst, turmoil, or spirituality.


Large Scale and Monumentality

Many Abstract Expressionist works are executed on a large scale, often encompassing the entire canvas or wall. This expansive approach enhances the immersive experience for the viewer, inviting them to engage with the artwork on an emotional and physical level.


Bold and Vibrant Colours

Abstract Expressionists frequently employed vivid and vibrant colours to evoke emotional responses. Colour was used as a means of expression, with artists selecting hues that conveyed their intended emotions or themes.


Experimentation with Materials and Techniques

Artists within this movement were often innovative in their use of materials and techniques. They explored new ways of applying paint, such as dripping, pouring, and splattering, and incorporated various tools and objects into their artwork.


Individualism and Subjectivity

Abstract Expressionism emphasised the individuality and subjective expression of the artist. Each artist had their own unique approach, allowing their personal experiences and inner worlds to shape their artistic output.


Rejection of Traditional Artistic Conventions

Abstract Expressionism emerged as a reaction against the prevailing artistic norms of the time. It rejected the idea that art should imitate or represent the external world, instead valuing the power of pure abstraction and personal expression.