The ineffable language of paint

Abstract expressionism—the non-representational use of paint as a means of personal expression—emerged in America in the 1940s, inspired by the innovative work of Arshile Gorky. Considered the first art movement originating in the Americas to have a worldwide influence, abstract expressionism spawned two very different sub-categories: action painting (exemplified by Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock) and color field painting, made most famous by Mark Rothko. Abstract expressionists strove to express emotions and ideas directly on canvas via color, form and texture—the quality of brushstrokes and other marks, the dripping of paint, for example—while embracing accident and chance, and celebrating the very act of painting.

Featured artists: William Baziotes, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, David Smith, Theodoros Stamos, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, Bradley Walter Tomlin
About the Series:
Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Genre Series features:
  • a detailed illustrated introduction plus a timeline of the most important political, cultural and social events that took place during that period
  • a selection of the most important works of the epoch, each of which is presented on a 2-page spread with a full-page image and with an interpretation of the respective work, plus a portrait and brief biography of the artist
  • approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions
The author:
Barbara Hess (b. 1964) is an art historian, critic and translator, resident in Cologne. Her numerous articles on contemporary art have featured in Camera Austria, Flash Art, Kunst-Bulletin and Texte zur Kunst. She co-curated the touring exhibition Ready to Shoot: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum/videogalerie schum at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Her TASCHEN titles include a monograph on Willem de Kooning.
Abstract Expressionism (Basic Art Series, TASCHEN 25 Edition)

Abstract Expressionism


Hardcover, 9.4 x 11.8 in., 96 pages
$ 14.99

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  • Reviews
"This book again illustrates how TASCHEN brings beautiful art ... to the masses in an interesting and informative way."
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  • See also
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Bosch (Basic Art Series, TASCHEN 25 Edition)
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