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Graffiti and Abstract Expressionism - Essay Example

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The focus of this essay is on graffiti and abstract expressionism. Abstract expressionism refers to an expansive movement. Abstract expressionism does not provide accurate description of the work created by the respective artist. …
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Graffiti and Abstract Expressionism
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Graffiti and Expressionism expressionism refers to an expansive movement in American paintingthat began around 1940, grew and became dominant in the 1950’s. Despite their prevalence acceptance to date, abstract expressionism does not provide accurate description of the work created by the respective artist. The paintings had broad characteristics with different styles that varied extensively in terms of technique and quality. Central to this discussion are the distinguishing characteristics of abstract expressionism and the extent to which Jackson Pollock’s works relate with abstract expressionism.
The first distinguishing feature relates to their abstractness, i.e. such paintings do not represent any form of occurrence in the visible world. The abstractness emanates from the fact that the paintings focus on free, spontaneous and specifically personal expression of prevailing emotional states. Additionally, the execution technique shows an over-emphasis of freedom exploits the more of the physical characteristics of paint in a bid to make the outcome expressive of indeterminable emotional qualities (probably mystery, dynamism, violence, etc.).
Secondly, the paintings characteristically abandon the conventional structured composition of well-defined art. Instead, abstract art embrace a single, unified, undifferentiated image existing in an unstructured space. The artist thus extends his/her freedom to the use of space such that the resulting piece logically defeating except for the painter. Usually, the paintings fill the canvasses used, an aspect that gives them monumental effects and an engrossing power.
After deviating from conventional art in preference of abstract art, Jackson Pollock determinedly moved away from the norm, often claiming being too much consumed in his work to an extent of being unaware of the undertaking, only allowing the result to explain itself. Kleiner (pg. 792) notes that Pollock’s works presented a revolution not only in their abstractness, but also on the manner in which he handled the process, preferring to have the canvass stretched on the ground as opposed to hanging vertically on a wall.
Notable though is that just like other abstract paintings, Pollock’s works lacked a well-defined points of emphasis or distinctly identifiable parts. The idea behind such inadequacy was to create simultaneously an impression of nothingness and at substance presence, providing a sense of perception by denying the observer the meaning thereof. Due to the inherent lack of a proper motif, the observer’s eye roves continuously yet never grasping anything solid. With proper interpretation almost impossible, the only chance lied on the any inscriptions availed by the painter, the lack of which reduces it to a mystery.
Unlike colorfield paintings that appeared to have abstract qualities merely by denying the observer representational interpretation yet had well defined lines and boundaries, Pollock’s works completely aligns with abstractness. Their characteristic presence of ‘all-over-lines’ diffuse the probable existence of positive or negative areas and the painting lacks a well-defined inside or outside line in the space (space itself appears to be undefined) through which it moves. The result is that the observer is unable to read any given part of the canvass as a figure, thus failing to be representational relative to the other part. Just as typical of abstract paintings, Pollock managed to set free the lines of the paintings from their purposes, representing objects or describing shapes.
Works Cited
Kleiner, Fred. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective. Boston, Cengage Learning. 2013. Internet Resource. Read More
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