Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Expressionist Art Movement

Expressionism was an artistic style which grew like a rose out of the soil of the late 19th early 20th century society. Originating in Germany and Austria and following the anti-authority thinking of people such as Freud, Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky, the expressionist movement focused on the expression of inner experience and emotion. It was less concerned with the reality of what a subject looked like and expressed the artist’s emotional reaction to it. These paintings can often be characterized by distorted forms drawn in bold colours and two dimensions, without perspective. But always sought to depict intense emotion and was always strongly subjective. Often the images were full of angst such as Edvard Munch’s The Scream, or the latter paintings of Vincent and Gough such as The Starry Night. Around the time of World War II the expressionist art movement had migrated to the shores of America. Indeed, it was the artists of this time which established New York as a place of importance in the art world. It has been said that expressionism was a precursor to surrealism and influenced artists such as Dali. A huge part of the movement in America became abstract expressionism, characterized by dripping paint onto the canvas. One of the most famous of the abstract expressionist painters of this period was Jackson Pollock. Interestingly the artists pioneering this movement never described themselves as expressionists, it was a label given to them, and as an artistic style is still very much alive today within the work of many contemporary painters. I myself use this style because I draw musicians. Music itself is an embodiment of the inner emotional experience and with my art I seek to express this subjective image. Expression of emotion through music is something I try to capture in drawings and I can think of no better artistic style with which to achieve this than the expressionist one which provides me with all the tools I need to depict the exquisite passion, soulful blues and poignant heartache expressed by the true musician. To view my art visit me here:

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