In 1946 the art critic Robert Coates, writing in The New Yorker, first used the term 'Abstract Expressionism'. The two words combine the emotional intensity of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European Abstract schools. Although they were being painted by then little-known artists working in low-rent studio space, works of Abstract Expressionist art now dominate the walls of major museums. The last major collective Abstract Expressionism exhibition to have taken place in the UK occurred in 1959. This bold publication, and the exhibition it accompanies, seeks to redress the balance and re‑evaluate the movement, recognising its complex and fluid reality, and encompassing sculptors such as David Smith and photographers such as Aaron Siskind as well as some of the most famous painters of the twentieth century.
Abstract Expressionism is the most important art movement since the Second World War. Although it is often considered a revolution in painting alone for the images created by such leading figures as Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko remain altogether extraordinary its radical spirit extended further, encompassing the sculpture of David Smith and Aaron Siskinds photography. Along with other key artists such as Barnett Newman and Franz Kline, these artists formed a nucleus united not just against the tensions of American society from the 1930s onwards, but also in their aim to forge diverse new visual languages. David Anfam explores the movement in terms of its political implications and rich cultural contexts, bringing many fresh insights to the works themselves. Taking into account a wealth of scholarship, this new edition also has nearly one hundred works reproduced in colour.
Text by David Anfam.
Willem de Kooning was a pioneering figure among Abstract Expressionists, one of the most influential champions of the dynamic new painting that brought New York to the center of the international scene in the 1950s. This book features ten paintings and drawings by de Kooning selected from The Museum of Modern Art's substantial collection of his work. Together they trace the artist's career, illustrating his much-heralded debut exhibition in 1948, his sensational Woman series of the 1950s and 1960s, and the serene works he made late in life. An essay by Carolyn Lanchner, a former curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum, accompanies each work, illuminating its significance and placing it in its historical moment in the development of modern art.
A long-awaited survey of female Abstract Expressionist artists revealing the richness and lasting influence of their work
An exhibition organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art of the Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection which comprises sixty-three modern paintings, sculptures and works on paper by fifty artists. The Abstract Expressionist paintings that form the heart of this collection were nearly all created in New York City.
A unique look at America s quest to carve out an artistic identity during the Depression era "
The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) is the foremost collection of geometric abstract art from Latin America. From the 1930s through the 1970s distinct artistic movements emerged in the cities of Montevideo, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Caracas that explored innovative forms of expression reflecting the new optimism sweeping the continent. This volume explores the ways in which the artists of these cities heralded the promise of a bright, modern future by creating a commensurate visual language to capture this positive spirit.
Pulitzer Prize–winning art critic Sebastian Smee tells the fascinating story of four pairs of artists—Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon—whose fraught, competitive friendships spurred them to new creative heights. Rivalry is at the heart of some of the most famous and fruitful relationships in history. The Art of Rivalry follows eight celebrated artists, each linked to a counterpart by friendship, admiration, envy, and ambition. All eight are household names today. But to achieve what they did, each needed the influence of a contemporary—one who was equally ambitious but possessed sharply contrasting strengths and weaknesses. Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas were close associates whose personal bond frayed after Degas painted a portrait of Manet and his wife. Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso swapped paintings, ideas, and influences as they jostled for the support of collectors like Leo and Gertrude Stein and vied for the leadership of a new avant-garde. Jackson Pollock’s uninhibited style of “action painting” triggered a breakthrough in the work of his older rival, Willem de Kooning. After Pollock’s sudden death in a car crash, de Kooning assumed Pollock's mantle and became romantically involved with his late friend’s mistress. Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon met in the early 1950s, when Bacon was being hailed as Britain’s most exciting new painter and Freud was working in relative obscurity. Their intense but asymmetrical friendship came to a head when Freud painted a portrait of Bacon, which was later stolen. Each of these relationships culminated in an early flashpoint, a rupture in a budding intimacy that was both a betrayal and a trigger for great innovation. Writing with the same exuberant wit and psychological insight that earned him a Pulitzer Prize for art criticism, Sebastian Smee explores here the way that coming into one’s own as an artist—finding one’s voice—almost always involves willfully breaking away from some intimate’s expectations of who you are or ought to be. Praise for The Art of Rivalry “Gripping . . . Mr. Smee’s skills as a critic are evident throughout. He is persuasive and vivid. . . . You leave this book both nourished and hungry for more about the art, its creators and patrons, and the relationships that seed the ground for moments spent at the canvas.”—The New York Times “With novella-like detail and incisiveness [Sebastian Smee] opens up the worlds of four pairs of renowned artists. . . . Each of his portraits is a biographical gem. . . . The Art of Rivalry is a pure, informative delight, written with canny authority.”—The Boston Globe “Bacon liked to say his portraiture aimed to capture ‘the pulsations of a person.’ Revealing these rare creators as the invaluable catalysts they also were, Smee conveys exactly that on page after page. . . . His brilliant group biography is one of a kind.”—The Atlantic “Perceptive . . . Smee is onto something important. His book may bring us as close as we’ll ever get to understanding the connections between these bristly bonds and brilliance.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In this intriguing work of art history and psychology, The Boston Globe’s art critic looks at the competitive friendships of Matisse and Picasso, Manet and Degas, Pollock and de Kooning, and Freud and Bacon. All four relationships illuminate the creative process—both its imaginative breakthroughs and its frustrating blocks.”—Newsday From the Hardcover edition.
"The contributors to this volume explore various aspects of Still's art, his accomplishments, and the New York School. David Anfam presents an overview of Still's career from the 1930s through the 1950s. Neal Benezra focuses on a provocative, unexplored element of Still's studio practice: his habit of painting replicas of many of his own works. Brooks Adams examines Still's artistic legacy and influence on succeeding generations of artists."--Jacket.
"While depictions of gardens are found throughout history, the impressionists were among the first to portray gardens directly from life, focusing on their color and form rather than using them as a background. This volume explores the close, symbiotic relationship between artists and gardens that developed during the latter part of the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries, centering on Monet, a great horticulturalist as well as a great artist who cultivated gardens wherever he lived, and the creation of his masterpiece garden at Giverny, where he painted his renowned water-lilies series. Beautifully illustrated with masterpieces by Monet and later painters--Renoir, Bonnard, Sargent, Klee, Kandinsky, and Matisse, among others--Painting the Modern Garden traces the evolution of the garden theme from impressionist visions of light and atmosphere to retreats for reverie, sites for bold experimentation, sanctuaries, and, ultimately, signifiers of a world restored to order--a paradise regained."--Publisher's description.
This exquisitely illustrated volume and the exhibition that it accompanies restore Joan Mitchell to her rightful place in the history of American artists--one of the few women among the first-rank Abstract Expressionist painters. 145 illustrations, 85 in color.
An astute, beautifully illustrated examination of the recently restored touchstone of modern art
Mood marks: The painterly gestures of personal feelings 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. About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Genre series features: a detailed illustrated introduction plus a timeline of the most important political, cultural and social events that took place during that period a selection of the most important works of the epoch, each of which is presented on a 2-page spread with a full-page image and with an interpretation of the respective work, plus a portrait and brief biography of the artist approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions
The art of Jasper Johns has affected nearly every artistic movement from the 1950s to the present Jasper Johns is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and has remained central to American art since his arrival in New York in the 1950s. With his then partner Robert Rauschenberg, Johns helped to establish a decisive new direction in the art world, termed "Neo-Dada" at the time. Johns' striking use of popular iconography, "things the mind already knows," as he put it (flags, numbers, maps), made the familiar unfamiliar--and made a colossal impact in the art world, becoming a touchstone for Pop, minimalist and conceptual art. This handsomely illustrated book brings together Johns' paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. From his innovations in sculpture to his use of collage in paintings, it gives focus to different chapters of Johns' career and examines the international significance of his work. Featuring contributions from a range of experts, this volume promises to explore the depth and breadth of Johns' oeuvre, made over more than half a century. Jasper Johns(born 1930) made his major breakthrough as a painter in the mid-1950s when he started using iconic, popular images in his paintings--an explosive move at a moment when advanced painting was understood to be exclusively abstract. Johns' midcentury paintings' lush, painterly surfaces resemble those of Abstract Expressionism, but Johns arrived at them through slow, labor-intensive processes and mediums such as encaustic. Throughout his 60-year career Johns has worked with many different mediums and techniques, using the restlessness of his own process to explore the interplay of materials, meaning and representation in art.
A bold new critique of the accepted history of figurative painting in the twentieth century
Looks at the works of the American modern artist.
A history of the Hamptons chronicles its evolution while portraying some of the artists who spent time there, from Winslow Homer and Lee Krasner to Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck, in a volume that includes reproduced artwork and archive photographs.
During the first two decades of the 20th century, many artists famously experimented with nonrepresentational expression. Taking cues from ideas hinted as by artists such as El Greco, Goya, Van Gogh, and Munch, Expressionists sought to transform reality rather than depict it in any sort of literal fashion. Egon Schiele, Max Beckmann, Paul Klee, and Wassily Kandinsky are among Expressionism's most famous exponents.

Best Books