How Artists During the Abstract Expressionism Period Represented Their Views Through Their Artwork

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Researched Essay- Arts Theory
Artist: Wassily Kandinsky (Abstraction)
Prasanta Rai

During the American Post WWII Art Movement/ Abstract Expressionism period (mid 1940s- 1960), artists Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and Arshile Gorky (1904-1948), both used abstraction in their artworks in order to create a representation and critique of their world. Using nonfigurative artwork they used colors and shapes in order to not only portray a painting, but to express the actual emotions involved within the artwork. (Damajanovic, S.) Focusing on Kandinsky’s artwork “Composition VII” and Gorky’s artwork “One Year the Milkweed”, the concept of expressing emotions through form and technique can be observed.

Abstraction expressionism was a form of art created during the late 1900’s. This period was where artists experimented with different colors or shapes in order to evoke the unconscious feelings by combining both the emotional intensity and the artists self expression. (Damajanovic, S.) It was a part of “Modern Art” in a period after the World War II, artists went against traditional ways of creating art such as Historicism where everything was based on themes and were representations of real world ideas. (Collins, T. ) They started exploring new ways of expressing their ideas- “Abstract Expressionism” was one of them. Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian artist who led way to the creation of Abstract Expressionism. His abstract art were influenced by many factors such as his emotions, personal expressions and music (many of his artwork were named as “compositions” or “improvisations”), he also had a disease called synaesthesia where he was able to hear and see colors. (Irish Art Encyclopaedia) Claude Monet’s painting “Haystack” also had a big influence on him as the paintings were very vague: Monet used different variations of colors based on the light and atmosphere. (WebExhibits) This had intrigued Kandinsky as he was unable to see what the painting had depicted,...
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