Action painting

(style, 1940’s-early 1960s)

Action painting is a style or type of painting that does not follow a certain pattern or flow. As an art, the paint is basically just splashed or smeared unto the canvas contrary to the other paintings in which the paint is carefully applied thus, creating a certain image of what the artist want to show.

Action Painting

In this aspect, action painting is drawn simultaneously to give a certain effect with which only the viewer can see what it is all about, regardless of what the artist would want to convey. It would only be about of what the perception of the viewer is. If there is however an image depicted in the action painting, it would now be the task of the viewer to see and figure that out.

Historically, this style of painting has gained popularity in the 1940s up to the 1960s. It is called as action painting because the canvas serves as an arena in which the artist can act. Considering that there isn’t the usual or slow stroke of brushes, in action painting, much force is given to spread out the paint to splatter unto the canvas to give this striking yet subtle effect. Some action painting would follow straight and uneven lines while others would actually be in circles, creating nonsense or whimsical patterns.

Jackson Pollock Action Painting

Among the painters who have gained popularity in the action painting scene are: Karel Appel, a Dutch artist not only known for his action painting but also as sculptor and poet. Another American action painter who was praised yet was never really given much recognition as an action painting painter compared to the known contemporary artist was Norman Bluhm. Other famous contemporary action painting or action painters are: Joan Mitchell and Jackson Pollock, etc.

What makes an action painting or action painting more enticing to look at is the fact that tickles the minds of the viewers. Action painting simply gives this feeling of excitement in figuring out the possible shapes that are in the painting.

Since the image that can be produced in action painting can somehow be qualified as luck considering that it is mostly difficult to be manipulated, it would be said that painters who have created magnificent output are truly great in this field. For many of those who have tried their hands in doing the action painting style, it is sad to say that not everybody has the luck or the talent to do this well.

Much of this action painting can be qualified as visually and mentally provoking as there may be images beyond what is normally seen at the first glance. This is perhaps, why there is a great following of this kind of art and style.

Although, one would not need so much talent compared to sketching or still-life paintings, still, there is the complexity on how the paint flows towards giving justice to the painting whether the action painting has a message or not.


Action painting Artists

Willem de Kooning
December 28, 2008 / By The Artists
Lee Krasner
December 28, 2008 / By The Artists
Cy Twombly
December 28, 2008 / By The Artists
Sam Francis
December 28, 2008 / By The Artists
Jackson Pollock
December 28, 2008 / By The Artists
Franz Kline
December 28, 2008 / By The Artists

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