Abstract Expressionism “New York School”

“New York School”

In the New York of 1940’s and 1950’s young artists developed a form of painting which was to become famous around the world as “Abstract Expressionism”. With their bold visions and a new artistic vocabulary, the members of the so-called “New york school”. Contributed to the international breakthrough of American painting and its predominance in the late 20th century. As with other contemporary artistic trends the term “Abstract expressionism” does not describe one homogeneous style, but rather an attitude: an attitude characterized by a rebellious spirit and the belief in freedom of expression. At the same time, the contrasts between the pictorial writing of Mark Tobey who had been trained in far Easter calligraphy and the painterly gesture of Willem de Kooning, between dynamic action painting of Jackson Pollock and the calm meditative work of Mark Rothko or Barnett Newman are immerse. But all preferred morally highly charged themes, in the depiction of which the most important things were individuality and spontaneous improvisation.


Abstract Paintings15
Abstract Painting “Entry To your Dream” 2013  30″ x 36″ x 7/8″ Oil on Canvas by Mirek Bialy


“It is widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.”

Mark Rothko

“The stuff of thought is the seed of the artist. Dreams from the bristles of the artist brush.  And as the eye functions as the brains sentry to communicate my innermost perceptions through the art my worldview”

Arshile Gorky

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak”

Hans Hofmann

“The gallery had slightly threating look- as through.  It the visitor could eventually find himself pinned to the wall, while the art works wandered around making their sweet or sour remarks respectively.”

Edward Alden Jewel – New York Time “on Art of this Century”

“The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think.  All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.”

Willem de Kooning

“I’ve explored a variety of directions and themes over the years.  But I think in my painting you can see the signature of one artist, the work of one wrist”

Helen Frankenthaler

“Aesthetics is for the artist like ornithology is for the birds”

Barnett Newman

“There are as many images as eyes to see.”

Sam Francis

“I have no fears about making changes destroying the image etc. because the painting has a life of its own.”

Jackson Pollock

“If you pick up some paint with your brush and make somebody’s nose with it, this is ridiculous when you think of it, theoretically and philosophically. It’s really absurd to make an image, like a human image, with paint, today.”

Willem de Kooning

“It’s been said many times in world art writing that one can find some of paintings meanings by looking not only at what painters do but at what they refuse to do.”

Ad Reinhardt

“I kept returning to the (Ancient Roman) Wall” paintings with their veiled melancholy and elegant plasticity”

William Baziotes

“Abstract painting is abstract it confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as compliment but it was a fine compliment.”

Jackson Pollock

“What is the explanation of the seemingly insane drive of man to be painter and poet if it is not an act of defiance against man’s fall and assertion that he returns to the Adam of Garden of Eden? For the artists are the first men.”

Barnett Newman

“I have sought unified world in my work and use a movable vortex to achieve it.”

Mark Tobey

“A picture lives by companionship expanding and quickening in the eyes of sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore a risky and unfeeling act to send it out into the world. How often it must be permanently impaired by the eyes of the vulgar and the cruelty of the impotent who would extend the affliction universally!”

Mark Rothko

“Demands of communication are both presumptions and irrelevant. The observer usually will see what his fears and hopes and learning teach him to see.”

Clyford Still

“I am an eclectic artist by chance; I can open almost any book of reproductions and find a painting I could be influenced by.”

Willem de Kooning

“My favorite symbols were those which I didn’t understand.”

Adolph Gottlieb

“The thing is that a person who wants to explore painting naturally reflects:  How can I in my work be most expressive?  Then the forms develop.”

Franz Kline

“Art is not only the eye; it is not the result of intellectual considerations.  Art is strictly bound to inherent laws dictated by medium in which it comes to expression. In other words, painting is painting, sculpture is sculpture, architecture is architecture.”

Hans Hofman

“To us art is an adventure into an unknown world which can be explored only by those willing to take a risk”

Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko

“A constant searching of oneself”

Jackson Pollock

“At the certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which act….what was to go on the canvas was not a picture but event”

Harold Rosenberg


Reference:  Abstract Expressionism by Barbara Hess 2006 Taschen



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