Abstract Expressionism London
The Facts
NAME: Abstract Expressionism
IT'S: An exhibition re-evaluating the Abstract Expressionist movement

24-09-2016

OPENED: September 24th, 2016
WHO'S BEHIND IT: Royal Academy of Arts
DID YOU KNOW: It is the first major UK based exhibition on Abstract Expressionism for almost six decades
LOCATION: Piccadilly
ADDRESS: Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD
CLOSEST TUBE: Green Park
OPENING TIMES: Monday - Thursday 10am - 6pm, Friday 10am - 10pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am - 6pm
WEBSITE: Visit Site
TWITTER: Visit Twitter
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram

Abstract Expressionism

OPENED September 24th, 2016

‘BEST OPENING’S OF 2016’ WINNER

Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy is the first significant overview of major works from the movement since Tate’s look at The New American Painting in 1959.

Unsurprisingly this new exhibition divides from the previous late fifties emphasis on the shocking, violent disruption of the American dream. Instead in the RA’s fresh perspective, masterpieces by the most acclaimed artists associated with the canon including Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko hang alongside lesser-known artists to recognise the multi-faceted themes of the oeuvre.

Previously Abstract Expressionist has been governed by an insistence that those working within the field fitted into one of two tribes. Artists were identified as either bold champions of ‘gestural action’ painting as in de Kooning and Pollock or mystified as arcane leaders of ‘colour field’ painting exampled by Rothko or Newman. The former was heralded for a head turning display of spontaneous improvisation and seemingly erratic mark making. Similarly the latter was celebrated for a contemplative meditation on the sublime use of colour. Re-evaluating this simplistic understanding of Abstract Expressionism, the RA digs much deeper to discover latent, highly complex concepts that go far beyond formal considerations.

De Kooning once said ‘Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented’. This is perhaps a starting point for the RA’s curatorial approach. If flesh symbolises human presence both on an abstract level of the inner psyche and on the physical level of the body suspended in space then the RA’s 21st-century exhibition centralises these themes with convincing gravitas. Whilst renowned works such as Pollock’s monumental Mural, 1943 created for Peggy Guggenheim and spanning the size of a whole wall scream out the show’s monumental status, paintings by often overlooked artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Ad Reinhardt spell out the diversity and intricacy of expressing the human self. The exhibition runs until 2 January 2017 with a vast programme of additional talks, events and workshops.

Words by Charlotte Brohier

The Facts
NAME: Abstract Expressionism
IT'S: An exhibition re-evaluating the Abstract Expressionist movement

24-09-2016

OPENED: September 24th, 2016
WHO'S BEHIND IT: Royal Academy of Arts
DID YOU KNOW: It is the first major UK based exhibition on Abstract Expressionism for almost six decades
LOCATION: Piccadilly
ADDRESS: Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD
CLOSEST TUBE: Green Park
OPENING TIMES: Monday - Thursday 10am - 6pm, Friday 10am - 10pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am - 6pm
WEBSITE: Visit Site
TWITTER: Visit Twitter
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram

People who liked Abstract Expressionism also checked out these...