Tate glossary definition for post-painterly abstraction: A blanket term by the critic Clement Greenberg at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He titled it. A term coined by art critic Clement Greenberg for the title of an exhibition he curated in Post-painterly abstraction encompasses a broad group of American. Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden By Moris Louis, a key participant in the Post-Painterly Abstraction show curated by Clement Greenberg in.

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It grew very directly out of the existing traditions of abstract artsynthesising elements from Jackson PollockMark Rothko and Barnett Newman as well as looking to Ad Reinhardt and Ellsworth Kellyto the late work of Henri Matisse and to the targets and flags of Jasper Johns.

Abstract Expressionism — or Painterly Abstraction, as I prefer to call it — was very much art, and rooted in the past of art.

What they created was a purely factual kind of art which, more painteroy ever before, functioned in terms of the basic elements of the medium itself; formcolour, texturescale, composition and so on. With their help — and keeping in mind that they have nothing to do with value judgments — we are able to notice all sorts of continuities and significant differences, in the art of the present as well as of the past, that we might not notice otherwise.

The phrase “Post-painterly abstraction” was first used in by the art critic Clement Greenberg as the title for an exhibition of 20th century paintings he curated for paibterly Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Greemberg of Art Timeline. Main menu greengerg Become a Member Shop. Because Post-painterly abstractionists tended to avoid emotionalism, and followed a more anonymous, non-subjective aesthetic, they clearly shared the same view of the primacy of formal elements, and thus met with his approval.

Greenberg himself was a formalist: Klee’s art was an exception, but the smallness of his works made their painterly handling relatively unobtrusive; absrraction became really aware of Klee’s painterliness only when it painherly “blown up” later on by artists like Wols, Tobey, and Dubuffet. The painterliness itself derived from a tradition of form going back to the Venetians.

Otherwise many of the painters in this show would be better known than they are right now. The physical clarity and openness of the art in this show do not make it necessarily better than other kinds of art, and I do not claim that the openness and clarity which these artists favor are what make their works necessarily succeed.


If there had been a single identifiable trend, it quickly fragmented into a series of competing schools, as painters pursued their separate goals. Having said this, I want to say, too, that this show is not intended as a pantheon, as a critic’s choice of the best new painters.

Some of them dilute their paint to an extreme and soak it into unsized and unprimed canvas following Pollock’s lead in his black and white paintings of What is Post-Painterly Abstraction: Best Artists of All Time.

Post-painterly abstraction is a blanket term covering a range of new developments in abstract painting in the late s and early s, characterised by a more rigorous approach to abstraction. This was an automatic solution for one of the crucial technical problems of abstract painting: When abstraction became painterly in a new way in the s, Greenberg became an advocate, but the old label stuck: By Ellsworth Kelly, an early exponent of hard-edge painting in the s and 50s.

As far as style is sbstraction, the reaction presented here is largely against the mannered drawing and the mannered design of Painterly Abstraction, but above all against the last.

Post-Painterly Abstraction

The stroke left by a loaded brush or knife frays out, when the stroke is greenbert enough, into streaks, ripples, and specks of paint. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Above all it was anonymous in execution, reflecting the painter’s desire to abandon the drama and emotionalism of the older forms of Abstract Expressionism.

Sam Francis’s liquefying touch is of a kind familiar to Abstract Expressionism at large, but even in his closed and solidly filled paintings of the early ‘s that touch somehow conveys light and poat.

Post-painterly abstraction – Art Term | Tate

Among the prior generation of contemporary artists, Barnett Newman has been singled out as one who anticipated “some of the characteristics of post-painterly abstraction. Thus the notion of abstract art as something neatly drawn and ahstraction painted, something with clean outlines and flat, clear colors, had become pretty well ingrained.

The styles embraced by this term include Hard-Edge Paintingillustrated by the works of abstract painters like Al Held b. Painterly Abstraction became a fashion, and now it has fallen out of fashion, to be replaced by another fashion — Pop art — but also to be continued, as well as replaced, by something as genuinely new and independent as Painterly Abstraction itself was ten or twenty years ago. They continue, painter,y this respect, a tendency that began well inside Painterly Abstraction itself, in the work of artists like Still, Newman, Rothko, Motherwell, Gottlieb, Mathieu, the Kline, and even Pollock.


And while their paintings shared some of the visual characteristics of painterrly by Barnett Newman and Mark Rothkothey did not share their predecessors’ views on the spirituality and meaning of art. Right now it’s Pop art, which is the other side of the reaction against Abstract Expressionism, that constitutes a school and a fashion.

To see this all disappear under a flurry of strokes, blotches, and trickles of paint was a bewildering experience at first.

These artists prefer trued and faired edges simply because these call less attention to themselves as drawing — and by doing that they also get out of the way of color. There is no question, in any case, of repudiating its best achievements.

Post-painterly abstraction

People should have recognized this the moment they began to be able to recognize differences of quality in Abstract Expressionism.

But as diverting as Pop art is, I happen not to find it really fresh. Out of these close-knit variations or gradations of light and dark, the typical Abstract Expressionist picture came to be built, with its typical density of accents and its packed, agitated look.

The most conspicuous of the mannerisms into which Painterly Abstraction has degenerated is what I call the “Tenth Street touch” after East Tenth Street in New Yorkwhich spread through abstract painting like a blight during the s. These common traits of style go to make up a trend, but they definitely do not constitute a school, much less a fashion. Famous Painters 20th Century Painters By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

And that part of the reaction against Painterly Abstraction which this show tries to document is a reaction more against standardization than against a style or school, a reaction more against an attitude than against Painterly Abstraction as such. For the chronology and dates of key events paintdrly the evolution of visual arts around greenbery world see: In an article for the exhibition catalogue, Greenberg discussed a number of differing styles and tendencies in contemporary American art.