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10 Moments That Basically Sum Up Your Abstract Expressionism Characteristics Experience

Abstract expressionism is an early post WWII art movement in American art, developed in New York City during the 1940s. It was largely the first specifically American style of art to attain international impact and place New York in the forefront of the western art scene, previously occupied by Paris. Many critics saw abstract expressionism as a precursor to the later “Dada” movement, with its free style and rejection of the more rigid European tradition. However, there is considerable debate as to whether this was true, or if the style had simply been revitalized for political and aesthetic reasons.

There are many common abstract expressionism characteristics. Most artists are focused on flat surfaces, using heavy brush strokes or sparse, dark shades to suggest clouds or even nothingness. The works often seem to lack any sense of depth or dimension, as if the viewer is merely gazing at a picture on a flat panel. This is also characteristic of pre-modern artists, but there is a distinct lack of that aesthetic in modern abstract expressionism. Some modernists have even made a sport of explicitly copying aspects of abstract expressionism.

Though there are some commonalities among modern artists, there are also several unique abstract expressionism characteristics. Some artists used basic geometric shapes, like squares, rectangles, or circles, to suggest different textures or forms. For example, Pablo Picasso drew circles with a large, looming shape behind them. Other artists used basic geometrical shapes combined with brightly-colored primary colors to suggest different hues or moods.

One of the most recognizable abstract expressionism characteristics is the recurrent long-term abstraction. The longest piece I have ever seen was a research paper that took me three hours ago to complete. The abstract artist took long periods of time to complete a painting. This repeated nature is characteristic of surrealists and represents a break from the conventions of the medium.

Another of abstract characteristics is the apparent looseness of the art. Abstract art is often highly-derivative, implying that the observer creates the image from an unconscious mental process. The 'image' created may not be related to reality, depending upon the artist's intent. The implication is that the abstract art does not have a firm relation to reality.

Finally, one of the most common abstract expressionism characteristics is the use of vague or ambiguous sentences. If the statement refers to reality, the statement makes perfect sense; however, if the statement does not make sense it can be very difficult to understand. An example of this would be a quote by John Cage: “If anything were worth doing, it would be to change the shape of a thing-to alter its being.” The meaning of this quote is vague and it has no definite expression in terms of anything.

In the abstract art world there are many different types of artists. Some are considered modernists while others follow more traditional formats. Abstract art can range from abstract paintings to photographic landscapes. Many abstract artists use several different styles to produce unique expressions of their ideas. Abstract expressionists are often considered to be in a class all their own because their style differs so significantly from the style of traditional artists.

Hopefully you have learned enough about these two characteristics to gain insight as to what type of artist you prefer. Now that you know both of these characteristics, you can go out and try to figure out what it is that you want from your art. You don't need to spend hours browsing galleries to figure it out. All you need to do is take the time to actually look at paintings of other people who are considered to be Abstract Expressionists and from there you should be able to determine what it is that you really like in terms of style and expression. So, after careful thought put down on paper the characteristics of abstract expressionism, you can then go and find that painting or piece of art that suits you.

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