June 16
Existential Angst
"At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act- rather than a space in which to reproduce, redesign, analyze or express an object, actual or imagined. What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event."
- Harold Rosenberg
in The American Action Painters

 

 

 

Autumn Rhythm

Jackson Pollock. Autumn Rhythm (Number 30). 1950.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Revised Second ed. Vol. 2. New York: Prentice Hall Inc., and Harry N. Abrams, 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Magasin 8/8/1949

August 8, 1949 issue of Life Magazine

 

"The most powerful painter in contemporary America and the only one who promises to be a major one is a Gothic, morbid, and extreme disciple of Picasso's Cubism and Miró's post-Cubism, tinctured also with Kandinsky and surrealist inspiration. His name is Jackson Pollock." - Clement Greenberg in 1947

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stills from the film Jackson Pollock

Hans Namuth and Paul Falkenberg. Stills from the film Jackson Pollock. 1951.
Emmerling, Leonhard. Pollock. Koln: Taschen, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract Expressionism = term used to describe a wide variety of work produced in New York 1940 - 1960
 
The New York School

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Irascibles

The Irascibles" from 1950, published in Life Magazine, January 15, 1951.
Emmerling, Leonhard. Pollock. Koln: Taschen, 2003.

From left to right seated:  Theodoros Stamos, Jimmy Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, James Brooks, Mark Rothko; Standing:  Richard Pousette-Dart, Willia Baziotes, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Hedda Sterne,
Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Bradley Walker Tomlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman I
Willem de Kooning. Woman I. 1950-2.
Robert Motherwell. At Five in the Afternoon. 1949.

Clyfford Still. 1947-R, No. 2. 1947.
Cooper, Harry. "Still Against Himself" Artforum. Summer 2001: 150 -156.

 
 
Common characteristics of the New York School:
Interest in Surrealist automatist techniques
Influenced by the Mexican muralists
Existential connection to the "Modern Man" = notion that man was fundamentally irrational and driven by unknowable forces from
within and without
Participated in the Federal Art Project 1935 - 1943
Insistence on the individual character in each of their expressions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Krasner
1908 - 1984

 

Pollock and Krasner in the studio

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in the studio. 1949.
Emmerling, Leonhard. Pollock. Koln: Taschen, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untitled

Lee Krasner. Untitled. 1940.
Brach, Paul. "Lee Krasner: Front and Center." Art in America. February 2001: 90 - 99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacchanale

Hans Hofmann.  Bachanale.  1946.
Hess, Barbara. Abstract Expressionism. Koln: Taschen, 2005.

Lee Krasner. Image Surfacing. c. 1945.
Brach, Paul. "Lee Krasner: Front and Center." Art in America. February 2001: 90 - 99.

 

Highest praise given to Krasner by Hofmann: "this painting is so good you'd never know it was done by a woman."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Krasner.  Untitled from the Little Images series.  1949.
Joselit, David. American Art Since 1945. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Krasner.  Easter Lilies.  1956.
Fichner-Rathus, Lois.  Understanding Art.  Seventh edition.  Australia: Thomson Wadsworth, 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Seasons

Lee Krasner. The Seasons. 1957. 7 3/4' X 17'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willem de Kooning
1904 - 1997

 

Still Life

Willem de Kooning. Still Life: Bowl, Pitcher and Jug. c. 1921.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seated Woman

Willem de Kooning. Seated Woman. c. 1940.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink Angels

Willem de Kooning. Pink Angels. 1945.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink Angels

Willem de Kooning. Pink Angels. 1945.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willem de Kooning. Painting. 1948.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excavation

Wilem de Kooning. Excavation. 1950.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman I

Willem de Kooning. Woman I. 1950-2.

 

 

"I like beautiful women, in the flesh; even the models in the magazines.  Women irritate me sometimes.  I painted that irritation in the Woman series.  Maybe... I was painting the woman in me." - De Kooning

"There is no plot in painting.  It's an occurrence which I discover by, and it has no message."  - De Kooning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willem and Elaine de Kooning

Willem and Elaine de Kooning 1953.

"To establish once and for al that I did not pose for these ferocious women. I was taken aback to discover in Hans' photograph that I and the painted lady seemed like…mother and daughter. We're even smiling the same way."
- Elaine de Kooning