The famous post-World War II art movement in America that put New York on the map in the 1940s and 50s, and the first style of painting to outshine Paris. It's the subject of a major exhibition at the Royal Academy in London at the moment.
So what is Abstract Expressionism? And why is it the subject of a major exhibition that attracted celebrities and Royalty from all over the world? It's the first time I can recall such an exhibition being brought together with all the big names of this art movement. Names such as Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, and Kline who are arguably the major players of Abstract Expressionism. These artists usually command big audiences for shows dedicated to showing solely their own works.
Seeing all these great artists together in one exhibition is very powerful and has a huge impact on the eye. One can almost sense the feeling of anxiety which was so much a part of the post- Second World War period. These artists broke free from the traditions of the day and wanted to express themselves, their deep feelings and emotions, in a totally new, abstract way.
The exhibition at the RA is curated by the independent art historian Dr David Anfam, alongside Edith Devaney, Contemporary Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts. Dr Anfam is the preeminent authority on Abstract Expressionism, the author of the catalogue raisonné of Mark Rothko’s paintings and Senior Consulting Curator at the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.