Art History: Abstract Expressionism


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Essay #: 067787
Total text length is 6,257 characters (approximately 4.3 pages).

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The beginning:
Art History: Abstract Expressionism
In the aftermath of World War I, artist Paul Klee wrote that “the more fearful the world becomes the more art becomes abstract.” This statement comes as a reaction to the immense death and destruction brought about by the first World War across Europe; never before has such numbers of soldiers and civilians died in armed combat, and never before had the entire Western culture been affected so deeply by something so horrific. Artists working during and after World War I often felt the need to respond to the atrocities they had witnessed, whether first or second hand, but they did not necessarily know how to put their ideas into representational imagery. After the pain and suffering of the war, objective...
The end:
..... to the geographical and cultural change of focus that Abstract Expressionism helped to create in the art world, it contributed to the progression of twentieth century art by making abstraction a wholly legitimate method or approach to art making in a way that went much further than the abstraction of the Cubist artists earlier in the century. Abstract Expressionism showed that abstraction could be used in and of itself as a message about the individual arts and culture, while at the same time attending to the formal qualities of the work. There did not have to be any meaning in the outside world that the painting pointed to through representation or subject matter of any kind for abstract expressionist works to be legitimate in themselves.