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Gestural abstraction

The phrase gestural abstraction refers to a way of making art - not what necessarily gets painted, but how it does.  By abandoning the application of paint to a surface in a controlled and premeditated way, gestural painters apply paint intuitively, physically, by dripping, splattering, pouring, smearing or throwing it at the surface itself. What matters to the gestural abstraction painters then isn’t the paint but the physicality, honesty, intuition and deep personal expression. This in turn leads to the artist abandoning a focus on subject matter, turning inward for inspiration. As such, the act of painting itself becomes the subject. Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner and Franz Kline led this movement from the 1940s onwards, with Jackson Pollock undoubtedly being the most notable with his pierced paint tins, dripping across the surface of Number 1A, 1948 (1948).  Abstract gestural painters explore their deepest emotions and they express that part of themselves during the physical act of painting. Pollock would later note that he had no fears about making changes to a painting, because, he said, the work has a life of its own. The painting itself is a relic of the action, it is a recording of the gestures made. Still influencing artists today, the likes of Caroline Vis and Sebastien Desnos (s3b desnos) both reference Pollock in their work, either echoing the expression of emotion or indeed as Desnos puts it, “action painting.”

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