Abstract Impressionism

Abstract Impressionism is an art movement originating in New York City in the 1940’s. This was the first American movement to gain worldwide recognition, and put New York at the center of the art world; an achievement formerly awarded to Paris. Robert Coates coined the term ‘abstract impressionism’ in 1946 in one of his critiques of the new artwork. The most important predecessor of abstract impressionism is Surrealism, which also emphasizes spontaneous and subconscious creation. The name of this period reflects the combination of unique self expression with emotional intensity, and contrasts the ideas or Futurism and Cubism. Abstract Impressionism is a form of art where the artist expresses himself through the use of form and color, with no objective representations. The movement can be divided into two groups: the Action Painting expressed by artists like Pollock and De Kooning; and Color Field Painting practiced by Rothko and Noland. Famous artists of this movement include Pollock, Gorky, Riopelle, Rothko, de Kooning, Motherwell, and Kline; their works possess very different moods and subjects, yet share qualities such as sizable canvasses, flat compositions, and the fact that all areas of the piece are filled with movement and paint (instead of creating a focal point, or an area of the most interest).