December 05, 2020

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Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy: enjoy the slideshow

Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy: enjoy the slideshow

Last September 24, 2016, the Royal Academy of Arts has inaugurated the first major exhibition of Abstract Expressionism to be held in the UK in almost six decades.

On show, over 150 paintings, sculptures and photographs from public and private collections across the world.

The ambitious exhibition encompasses masterpieces by the most acclaimed American artists associated with the movement – among them, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Phillip Guston, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jacks on Pollock, Mark Rothko, Aaron Siskind, David Smith and Clyfford Still, as well as lesser – known but no less vital artists.

The selection aims to re – evaluate Abstract Expressionism, recognising that though the subject is often perceived to be unified, in reality it was a highly complex, fluid and many – sided phenomenon. Likewise, it will revise the notion of Abstract Expressionism as based solely in New York City by addressing such figures on the West Coast as Sam Francis, Mark Tobey and Minor White. To ensure an exhibition for the 21st century , informed by new thinking, Abstract Expressionism will re – examine the two main strands into which these artists have often been grouped in the past. Namely, the so – called ‘colour – field’ painters, such as Rothko and Newman, versus the ‘gesture’ or ‘action painters’, epitomised by de Kooning and Pollock.

Check out also the article Abstract Expressionism to get more information about this fascinating exhibition that will travel to Bilbao after London.


Franz Kline Vawdavitch, 1955 Oil on canvas, 158.1 x 204.9 cm Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Claire B. Zeisler 1976.39 (c) ARS, NY and DACS, London 2016 Photo: Joe Ziolkowski
Jackson Pollock Blue poles (Number 11, 1952), 1952 Enamel and aluminium paint with glass on canvas, 212.1 x 488.9 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (c) The Pollock-Krasner Foundation ARS, NY and DACS, London 2016
Clyfford Still, PH-950, 1950. Oil on canvas, 233.7 x 177.8 cm. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver (c) City and County of Denver / DACS 2016. Photo courtesy the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO
Mark Rothko No. 15, 1957 Oil on canvas, 261.6 x 295.9 cm Private collection, New York (c) 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko ARS, NY and DACS, London
Willem De Kooning Woman II, 1952 Oil, enamel and charcoal on canvas, 149.9 x 109.3 cm The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, 1995 © 2016 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2016 Digital image (c) 2016. The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence

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