Action Painting

Action Painting

Action painting is a style where paint is applied spontaneously by dripping, splashing, or smearing onto the canvas instead of meticulous application.

In 1952, art critic Harold Rosenberg introduced the term "action painting" to characterise artists who employed bold, physically engaging gestures, departing from the conventional easel painting. Typically, the viewer can discern broad brushstrokes, drips, splashes, or other indications of the physical involvement in creating the artwork.

The label ‘action painters’ is used for artists active from the 1940s to the early 1960s, emphasising the physical act of painting as an integral aspect of the completed artwork.

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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.