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Unformatted text preview: ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM KEY DATES: 1940-1960s Emerging in the 1940s in New York City and flourishing in the Fifties, Abstract Expressionism is regarded by many as the golden age of American art. The movement is marked by its use of brushstrokes and texture, the embracing of chance and the frequently massive canvases, all employed to convey powerful emotions through the glorification of the act of painting itself. Some of the key figures of the movement were Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline. Although their works vary greatly in style, for example the sprawling pieces of Pollock at one end of the spectrum and the brooding works of Rothko at the other, yet they all share the same outlook which is one of freedom of individual expression. The term was originally used to describe the work of Kandinsky but was adopted by writers in the Fifties as a way of defining the American movement, although the practitioners, disliking being pigeonholed, preferred the term New York School. The movement was enormously successful both critically and commercially. The result was such that New York came to replace Paris as the centre for contemporary art and the repercussions of this extraordinarily influential movement can still be felt thirty years after its heyday. REPRESENTATIVE ARTISTS: Jackson Pollock Willem de Kooning Franz Kline Robert Motherwell Arshile Gorky Josef Hoffmann Mark Rothko Clyfford Still William Baziotes Adolph Gottlieb Barnett Newman HARLEM RENAISSANCE KEY DATES: 1920-1930s From 1920 until about 1930 an unprecedented outburst of creative activity among African- Americans occurred in all fields of art. Beginning as a series of literary discussions in the lower Manhattan (Greenwich Village) and upper Manhattan (Harlem) sections of New York City, this African-American cultural movement became known as "The New Negro Movement" and later as the Harlem Renaissance. More than a literary movement and more than a social revolt against racism, the Harlem Renaissance exalted the unique culture of African-Americans and redefined African-American expression. African-Americans were encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to become "The New Negro," a term coined in 1925 by sociologist and critic Alain LeRoy Locke. One of the factors contributing to the rise of the Harlem Renaissance was the great migration of African-Americans to northern cities (such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) between 1919 and 1926. In his influential book The New Negro (1925), Locke described the northward migration of blacks as "something like a spiritual emancipation." Black urban migration, combined with trends in American society as a whole toward...
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This essay was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course HIST 1432 taught by Professor Kane during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.
- Spring '08