Milky Way Gallery Artworks by Style: Action Painting

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Action Painting Style

Action painting, sometimes called gestural abstraction, is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work or concern of its artist. The term was coined by American critic Harold Rosenberg in 1952, who described the canvas as "an arena in which to act". Art critic Clement Greenberg believed that the physicality of the paintings’ clotted and oil-caked surfaces was the key to understanding them as documents of the artists’ existential struggle. The finished painting can be thought of as only the physical manifestation, a kind of residue of the actual work of art which was the process of the painting’s creation.

Action Painting Painters

Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, James Brooks, Joan Mitchell, Philip Guston.
Example of Action Painting Style
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