The cover of the exhibition catalogue entitled Abstract Expressionism (available from Museum Bookstore)

Abstract Expressionism

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'a feast of art, real, raw and wonderful' - Telegraph

Abstract Expressionism at Royal Academy 

In 1946, the art critic Robert Coates, writing in The New Yorker, first used the term ‘Abstract Expressionism’. The two words combine the emotional intensity of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European Abstract schools.

This handsome volume accompanies a major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao - the first survey in Europe of the movement since 1959 - examines the origins of Abstract Expressionism. 

The book seeks to re‑evaluate the movement and recognise its complexity and fluidity. The book encompasses sculptors such as David Smith and photographers such as Aaron Siskind as well as the painters, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Arshile Gorky.

  • Authors: David Anfam, Susan Davidson, Senior Curator, Collections and Exhibitions, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Edith Devaney, Curator of Contemporary Projects at Royal Academy of Arts
  • Hardcover: 262 pages
  • Date published: September 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1910350300
  • Dimensions: 30.0 x 28.0 cm

★★★★★ 'a feast of art, real, raw and wonderful' - Telegraph

'What more could one ask in a show including the explosive and tender Jackson Pollock; De Kooning swerving and jumbling and dismembering his frightening figures of women; Rothko's tangy brightness and trembling, tremulous darkness; Barnett Newman's zips and planes and intervals; Guston's dirty abstract impressionism in which figures wait to be unleashed. Franz Kline's angled black and white incidents; Arshile Gorkly's quietly writhing accretions: they are all here' - The Guardian

'Wall-to-wall genius' - The Evening Standard

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Abstract Expressionism at Royal Academy