“A painting is not about experience, it is an experience.”
Surrealism, cubism, impressionism
WWII, Great Depression
Pollock, de Kooning, Kline, Rothko
Cubism- Geometric shapes, sharp
lines, didn‟t paint with natural lines
Impressionism- Ordinary scenes, played
with the lighting of the scene
Works Progress Administration (WPA)
Tried (somewhat successfully) to get U.S.
out of Great Depression
Federal Art Project
Government hired artists to paint murals
(just and example) and bring hope to the
World War II
Genocide of Jewish culture
Affected Rothko specifically
Expressed opinion against totalitarian
government control in Europe
Showed their pessimism and negative
Showed violence to mirror wartime.
“Their brutality of their art was screaming out
of rage at what their world had become.”
Willem de Kooning
Franz Kline: Lead into color field
Used various tools, unconventional tools
Drip painting (Pollock), swiping brushes across
•Motive- wanted to
evoke strong emotion
•Wanted to be a part
of the painting
•Used large canvases
Jackson Pollock (1912-
Lived in New York City
Worked on the Federal Art Project
Dealt with severe alcoholism; died in a
drinking and driving accident
Drip painting: 1947-1950
Used wall paints (fluid paint, muted
colors, unconventional applicators, unprimed
and un-stretched, large canvas)
Defined “drip painting” as a type of
Wanted to be “in” the paintings.
Franz Kline (1910-1962)
Childhood upbringing influenced his
aggressive painting style
Influenced by wife‟s illness
Didn‟t have a meaning behind what was
painted on the canvas
Black and white paintings
Avoided bright colors
Mark Rothko (1903-1970)
Born in Latvia, moved to the U.S.
Dropped out because of the elitist feelings
Worked with Jackson Pollock.
He looked at art as something that is
inspired from one‟s feelings within.
Wanted to expose and bring out reality
to the viewer.
Painted to represent a single idea that
summarized all the ideas of human
feelings such as human values.