Spirit in the Abstract

Valiunas, Algis
January 2006
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion & Public Life;Jan2006, Issue 159, p28
The article focuses on American painters, who were the exponents of abstract expressionism, an umbrella term for artists with varied sense of art and artistic practice. Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman have exhibited works that are distinctly abstract. Willem de Kooning's style was much in the manner of German expressionism. Recent books uphold them as grand masters of their tradition. The painters adhered to their artistic theories to get to the depths of the deepest mysteries. Their paintings have been open to interpretation. It is argued that theirs was a tragic vision with tragic personal lives but they failed to unravel the mystery of how to lead a good life.


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