Changes in Art History with Emphasis on the Mid-Twentieth Century

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Changes in Art History with Emphasis on the Mid-Twentieth Century

Art during the mid-twentieth century contained some of the most important changes art history. These explosive times were counter-balanced with explosive popular culture.
More historical events, abrupt changes, and turbulence occurred from the end of World War II until the height of the Vietnam War than in any time period. Before this time, styles of art had lasted generations. In the 1960’s numerous important art movements were happening at the same time. There were variations on variations, movements inside of other movements. Therefore, because of the amount of independent and integrated pieces of movements and styles, a lot can be missed in a short paper. The
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For the most part, abstract expressionism attracted the American public with its simple methods and spontaneous appearance and more so because it was an entirely American art movement. With most of Europe at war and in recovery during the 1940’s, Americans were left with the principal responsibility of developing art. Abstract expressionism was, therefore, the first movement to originate in the United States. During the war in the times of chaos that existed in the world, America met the challenge of being the leader in art and developing their own movement which would span the 1940’s and the 1950’s.

One of the most important artists in abstract expressionism was Jackson Pollack (see appendix A). Pollack’s work runs throughout the span of the movement. The famous method of “action painting” which Pollack developed was much like the times he, and the other artists who practiced this method, lived in. “While there appears to be chaos in the erratic and loose placement of paint and strokes, there is still a great sense of the pieces being defined and controlled” . The abstract expressionists thought of their paintings as living things. In Jackson Pollack’s “My Painting”, from 1947, he says, “The source of my painting is the unconscious” . The world around Pollack and all world citizens at this point was chaotic—communism was running rampant, war had ripped throughout Europe,