Action painting, artists and art
(style, 1940's - early 1960s)
"Action painting" or "gestural abstraction" is a style of abstract expressionism that uses dribbling or splashing of paint. The term was coined by the American critic Harold Rosenberg in 1952, and signaled a major shift in the aesthetic perspective of New York School painters and critics. While abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning had long been outspoken in their view of a painting as an arena within which to come to terms with the act of creation, earlier critics sympathetic to their cause, like Clement Greenberg, focused on their works' "objectness." To Greenberg, it was the physicality of the paintings' clotted and oil-caked surfaces that was the key to understanding them as documents of the artists' existential struggle.