Jackson Pollock is one of the most well-known of the Abstract Expressionism movement. He started as a conventional artist, painting large murals. He became fascinated with the concept of abstract art. He suffered from depression alcoholism and began a course of Jungian psychoanalysis to help him overcome these difficulties. His analyst suggested that he paint as part of his therapy and this inspired him to move into the abstract art genre. Pollock is now recognized as one of the most important and influential of all the abstract artists of the twentieth century.
Pollock pioneered the technique of “drip painting.” In this technique paint is splashed or dripped directly onto the canvas. His works became incredibly popular. One of his works sold for $140 million in 2006.
By the 1950s the abstract art movement had largely run out of steam. It was in many ways a victim of its own success and people were looking for a new departure in the art world. In the words of de Kooning in 1951 “There is no style of painting now. There are as many naturalists among the abstract painters as there are abstract painters among the subject matter school.”
However, there has been a recent revival of abstract art in recent years. Many now see this as the golden age of the abstract art. This is a great deal of renewed interest in this genre with new and emerging artists as well as a celebration of the classic pioneers of abstract art. Whilst there are still many who argue that the demise of this genre is complete, for others there is plenty of evidence that it is very much in the land of the living and flourishing once more.
Technology has of course moved on very quickly in recent years and with this change emerged many new forms of expression. New forms of art have arisen from this technical revolution including photorealism, geometric abstraction, internet art, and digital art. It isn’t much of a stretch of the definition to term these new forms of art a type of abstract expressionism. However, more recently we have seen a return in interest of what could be termed the more “pure” form of abstract art. We can see this with modern artists such as Ben Berlow, Anish Kapoor and Christian Rosa.
In reality we can speculate about the definition and the demise of abstract art for as long as we wish. However, this particular genre has shown that it has an enduring quality which will be with us well into the future.