action painting

action painter.
1. (sometimes caps.) Also called tachism. a style of American abstract expressionist painting typified esp. in the works of Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning in the 1940s, in which the furiously energetic and free application of the paint is seen as being expressive of the psychological and emotional state of the artist at the moment of creation.
[1950-55, Amer.]

* * *

Direct, instinctual, dynamic style of painting that involves the spontaneous application of vigorous, sweeping brush strokes and the chance effects of dripping and spilling paint onto the canvas.

The term characterizes the work of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline. The "automatic" techniques developed in Europe by the Surrealists in the 1920s and '30s had great influence on U.S. artists, who regarded a picture not merely as a finished product but as a record of the process of its creation. It was a major force in Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s. See also automatism, Tachism.

* * *

art
      direct, instinctual, and highly dynamic kind of art that involves the spontaneous application of vigorous, sweeping brushstrokes and the chance effects of dripping and spilling paint onto the canvas. The term was coined by the American art critic Harold Rosenberg to characterize the work of a group of American Abstract Expressionists (see Abstract Expressionism) who utilized the method from about 1950. Action painting is distinguished from the carefully preconceived work of the “abstract imagists” and “colour-field” painters, which constitutes the other major direction implicit in Abstract Expressionism and resembles Action painting only in its absolute devotion to unfettered personal expression free of all traditional aesthetic and social values.

      The works of the Action painters Jackson Pollock (Pollock, Jackson), Willem de Kooning (de Kooning, Willem), Franz Kline, Bradley Walker Tomlin, and Jack Tworkov reflect the influence of the “automatic” techniques developed in Europe in the 1920s and '30s by the Surrealists. While Surrealist automatism (q.v.), which consisted of scribblings recorded without the artist's conscious control, was primarily designed to awaken unconscious associations in the viewer, the automatic approach of the Action painters was primarily conceived as a means of giving the artist's instinctive creative forces free play and of revealing these forces directly to the viewer. In Action painting the act of painting itself, being the moment of the artist's creative interaction with his materials, was as significant as the finished work.

      It is generally recognized that Jackson Pollock's abstract drip paintings, executed from 1947, opened the way to the bolder, gestural techniques that characterize Action painting. The vigorous brushstrokes of de Kooning's “Woman” series, begun in the early 1950s, successfully evolved a richly emotive, expressive style. Action painting was of major importance throughout the 1950s in Abstract Expressionism, the most influential art movement at the time in the United States. By the end of the decade, however, leadership of the movement had shifted to the colour-field and abstract imagist painters, whose followers in the 1960s rebelled against the irrationality of the Action painters. See also Tachism.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Action Painting — (auch Actionpainting „Aktionsmalerei“) bezeichnet eine Kunstrichtung der modernen Malerei innerhalb des abstrakten Expressionismus. Sie trat ab 1950 in den USA auf und war durch Jackson Pollock international bekannt geworden. Vergleichbar ist der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Action painting — Jean Raine, membre du groupe CoBrA, en action de peindre La Broyeuse de Tête à manivelle en 1972. L Action Painting traduit littéralement « peinture d’action » ou « peinture gestuelle », désigne aussi bien une technique qu un… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • action painting — ● action painting nom féminin (expression américaine signifiant peinture gestuelle) Manière de peindre caractéristique de l expressionnisme abstrait et spécialement de J. Pollock. action painting [akʃənpɛntiŋ] n. m. ÉTYM. V. 1950; expr. anglo… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • action painting — /ingl. ˈækʃənˌpeɪntɪŋ/ [comp. di action «azione» e painting «pittura»] loc. sost. f. inv. pittura d azione, tachisme (fr.) CFR. dripping, sgocciolatura …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • action painting — (izg. èkšn péinting) m DEFINICIJA pov. umj. tehnika i stil u apstraktnom slikarstvu, boja se na podlogu nanosi prskanjem i prolijevanjem ETIMOLOGIJA engl …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • action painting — ☆ action painting n. a form of abstract expressionism in which such methods as the spattering or dripping of paint are used to create bold, fluid, apparently random compositions …   English World dictionary

  • Action painting — Franz Kline, Painting Number 2, 1954, The Museum of Modern Art …   Wikipedia

  • Action painting — Jean Raine ejecutando Pintura de Acción en 1972. Action painting (en español «Pintura de Acción») es una técnica pictórica, así como el nombre del movimiento pictórico que la usa. Surge en el siglo XX dentro de la pintura no figurativa. Intenta… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Action Painting — Jean Raine, membre du groupe CoBrA, en action de peindre La Broyeuse de Tête à manivelle en 1972. L Action Painting traduit littéralement « peinture d’action » ou « peinture gestuelle », désigne aussi bien une technique qu un… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • action painting — noun a New York school of painting characterized by freely created abstractions; the first important school of American painting to develop independently of European styles • Syn: ↑Abstract Expressionism • Hypernyms: ↑artistic movement, ↑art… …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.