ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM WAS THE FIRST GREAT AMERICAN ART MOVEMENT
For centuries, Paris had been the traditional center for the world’s artists, dealers and collectors. But, then, in the 1940s and 1950s, a new movement emerged that placed the US center-stage. Characterized by large, abstract, emotionally charged oil paintings, Abstract Expressionism swiftly made New York the focus of the art world. Developing just after the Great Depression and overlapping with the Vietnam War, the movement coincided with the US emergence as the pre-eminent global superpower. “In its confidence and espousal of freedom of expression, there is a particularly American feeling about Abstract Expressionism,” says exhibition curator Edith Devaney.