“Only we agree that we are different”

This was the unwritten slogan of the New Yorker group dispersed artists of the 40’s and 50 generally qualified as abstract expressionists, or first generation of New York School.

Its source is more important in art and theories of Gauguin and his circle, and evolves from Matisse’s Fauvism to Abstract Expressionism Kandinsky painting pre-war.

It is an intuitive and emotional tradition rather than intellectual,  prefer organic and biomorphic forms to geometric, curved lines to straight lines, the decorative nature to structural.

His interest in the mystical, irrational and spontaneity talks about his romantic character.

Let’s talk about two of these masterpieces:

First of all “Full Fathom Five”, painted by Jackson Pollock

In the winter between 1946 and 1947 Pollock introduced a turning point in his work: abandoned traditional easel painting and began work on cloth spread on the ground. Pollock knew the technique of “dripping” in 1936, in the experimental workshop Mexican artist Alvaro Siqueiros.

Pollock described his painting process thoroughly in a paper to the journal “possibilities”, whose only issue appeared in the winter. “My painting does not come from the easel. Hardly extend the canvas before painting. Rather stick it to the wall studs or floor hard without extending. Need the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I feel better. I feel closer box, am part of it, because I can move around, work it from all four sides and literally be in the works a method similar to Indian sand painters of the West. “Instead of traditional instruments such as easel, palette and brush, Pollock used to the techniques of dripping and pouring sticks, spatulas, knives or containers with leaking or spilling paint on the canvas without touching it directly. Sometimes paint mixed with other materials such as sand or pieces of glass.

The mesh of the upper layers of paint conceals a figure made ​​with lead paint. Objects on the table, eg key or button, folks are placed in relation to the hidden figure.

Pollock so named in honour of his work “The Tempest” by Shakespeare

Five fathoms here

Lies the body of your father

And his bones are coral, pearl eyes

Nothing he has dispersed

All he has transformed into sea

And it’s all beautiful, and it’s all strange

The second masterpiece is Ochre and red on red, painted by Mark Rothko.

Mark Rothko conceived in 1949 its characteristic horizontal arrangement of colour fields on a monochrome background, which persisted until the end.

The same would explain his decision to paint large format for a symposium: “I paint large pictures. Aware that, historically painting large pictures is to do something grand and ostentatious. Yet deep reason for this is my desire to be very intimate and human. Perform a small piece is placed outside of the experience, is to look at the experience as a stereotyped image through a lens or diminutive. But to paint a large box is inside, not something that is can have no more.

Rothko personally fixed the conditions of submission of his paintings: how to group them, hang them and enlighten. Your deep sensitivity required a deep relationship with their curators and collectors

in their efforts to trap light inside surfaces formed by layers, Rothko applied first a binder with pigment directly onto uncoated and untreated canvas in layers of oil paint so relieved that had the consistency of watercolour, overlaying a layer directly above the other. When the fugitive pigments suspended in a medium made ​​of egg yolk (a special recipe created by the own Rothko) filtered through dilute layers, one on the surface appeared whitish image.

“A picture comes to life in the presence of a sensitive viewer, whose consciousness develops and grows. However, the reaction of the viewer can be lethal. Hence the fact bring a picture to the world constitutes a risky and cruel audacity. How often suffer permanent damage because of the eyes of the common people or the cruelty of the impotent, that what they want most is to bring unhappiness to everything else?”

Mark Rothko.

Hope you enjoy it!


As I promised here is the Avant-gardes third and ultimate part.


From the second half of the twentieth century New York replaced Paris in his role as artistic center, being a land where no one has lived the war devastation .
The artwork becomes an object of consumption within the capitalist system, multiplying museums, modern art collections, biennials and exhibitions.

Guggenheim Bilbao

Solomon Guggenheim New York.
There is a limit avalanche currents imprecise engaged each other and in that mix different artistic languages.
The traditional techniques and materials will be displaced, and unconventional media were used as the body itself.
From the 80 there will be a plurality of trends that continues today.
The last quarter century artists introduce themes that reflect concern, globalization, immigration, feminism, the environment …


It takes place during the 40s and 50s in New York.
The automatic will significantly surrealists in abstract expressionism.
Recovers art passion for art. The painting is thus an event, an encounter between the artist and the material used.
It is a gesture painting used in expressive colors and large formats.
The artist is interested in being perceived almost total body involvement in the creative process.
We know two fold: 1. Action Painting (action painting)
2. paint color fields (color field painting)

Pollock action painting

Rothko colour fields painting.


It was in Europe that the United States Abstract Expressionism, although the differences between the two movements are remarkable.
The informalistas felt disillusioned by Western culture, refusing the traditional way of painting.
Although abstraction are attracted sometimes include figurative elements.
Investigated with various materials (sand, plaster, dirt, rocks, etc.). Creating works that were called matéricas.

Dubuffet sculpture

Lucio Muñoz picture.


The so-called “popular art” emerged in the decade of the 50 in Britain and the United States as opposed to abstract expressionism that had opened a gulf of misunderstanding between art and viewer.
The Pop recovers figuration to that art can be understood by the public.
They use more elements of everyday consumer society more recognizable by the public on foot: banners, packaging, comic strips, or the faces of the figures in the music world and the world of Hollywood.
Seriation introduced in the art world, this is the same picture is repeated several times in different colors in the same box.

Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.


In the 60s a number of trends emerge as an alternative to abstract trends prevailing in Europe and the U.S.
These proposals call for rendering realistic images more or less, in each case on the basis of different criteria.
Many of these trends maintain connections with Pop Art
Within this new configuration highlights the work of Francis Bacon. Using isolated deformed figures and claustrophobic interiors, English painter reflected this better than anyone the feeling of uneasiness of his time.

Meanwhile the new French realism is closer to reality through a process of appropriation of elements of the consumer society, recycling, accumulating them, compressing or packing them.
In narrative figuration resort to television, film, advertising and the comic to raise a critical conception of society.
The Hyperrealism point making photography; their representations are to pursue a greater realism to the camera, illusionists and paradoxical recovering procedures.

Gran Vía Antonio López.


In the first half of the 60 was developed in the U.S. a current exalted pictorial geometry, crisp lines, hard outlines, expository simplicity and the primacy of color.
Attach more importance to analysis to action or emotion
Employ nontraditional media forms that just determining the compositions.

Morris Louis


• The expression of the movement is the main concern of these two abstract tendencies.
• The works are composed of elements are arranged methodically optical illusion, the cause virtual motion on the retina of the viewer on a flat surface.
• The viewer has an active role in the contemplation of the work.
• kinetic art refers to all works that reflect the different types of motion.
• When considering the two dimensions of insufficient canvas usually make sculptures, installations and mobile materials like aluminum, steel or plastic.
• The OP ART refers to works that are based on optical and visual sensations that are perceived by the human eye.
• The mechanisms used in the aim to generate a sense of virtual movement in the viewer’s retina.

 File:Móvil (Eusebio Sempere) MEAL Madrid 01.jpg
   Eusebio Sempere sculpture, Madrid
  Vasarely picture.

These three artistic trends have in common time of onset in the early 60s, and his reaction to the commodification of art.
Minimalism is characterized by extreme simplification from geometric shapes industrial look.
The organic materials used Povera and poor in order to disrupt the viewer’s reflection.
Land Art wants to remove the artwork from the Museum, for transfer to the nature.
Deserts, glaciers, rivers and fields are to support artists remnants of his works, trying that they come alive in the solitude of space.

Sol LeWitt, Mario Merz and Richard Long.


It was a movement that appeared in the mid-60s and remained until well into the 70s.
Is influenced by the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp.
Ideas and concepts are more important than the finished work of art.
It rejects the idea of the art object as a commodity.


Alberto Corazón.


They are ephemeral art forms, used by artists of various schools and countries since the 50s.
BODY ART The artist uses her body as an expressive and artistic support, in order to investigate the physical and psychological reactions it has to different stimuli.
The word means HAPPENING event.
In an attempt to relate art and life, the public is actively involved in actions which mixes elements of different languages ​​(music, theater, painting ..)
The PERFORMANCE also combines elements of theater, music and visual arts.
It differs from the Happening where actions are planned, and there is no active public participation.

Gilbert & George Performance artists

Allan Kaprow Happenings maker


From the 80 is in crisis the concept of art, giving way to postmodernism.
It revises and reinterprets the past. Many streams retake the painting as an expressive medium.
Currents arise neo-expressionist figuration that retrieve and subjectivity.
ALEMAN neoexpresionismo
Its members, under some influence romantic and a great sense of nationalism, expressed through violent language.
Italian trans
Its members are like nomads who roam the historic tradition of artistic movements, to take from each what meets their aspirations plastic.
And express their vitality and their own conscience.
In the same vein born this current abstract expressionist influences of artists like Schnabel

Anselm Kiefer

Enzo Cucci


Julián Schnabel

. A significant aspect is the rise of photography, which is presented below as the sovereign work instrument in its own right.
. It is also important to emphasize the importance that has taken the art of peripheral sites, in a globalized world (Africa, Latin America, and Asia) breaking the dominance of Western art as well as that done by women.
. In recent years there have been new support for the arts as a result of technological breakthroughs in communication.
. The audiovisual media, computer, and Internet have made alternative ways of expression that are reflected in the new forms of art.

Liu Jianhua

George Baselitz

Luis Gordillo.

A complex, multifaceted and exciting reality in the nowadays art. Hope you enjoy!