Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism was the dominant art movement in the 1940s and ‘50s, characterised by gestural brushwork and emphasising spontaneity.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Abstract Expressionism made New York City a major player in modern art. The artists had different styles but shared a commitment to using abstract art to express personal beliefs and important human values. They favoured bold, expressive abstraction, especially in large paintings. Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning were leading figures.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.