Splatter painting, also known as action painting, is a modern art movement that emerged in the mid-20th century. It is characterized by a technique of throwing, dripping, or splattering paint onto a canvas, often without a preconceived plan or image in mind. This technique is used to create abstract, spontaneous, and visceral paintings that reflect the artist’s emotional state at the time of creation.
The origins of splatter painting can be traced back to the early 20th century and the Dadaist movement, which sought to challenge the traditional notions of art and society. Dadaists used unconventional materials and techniques, such as collage and found objects, to create works that were often shocking and provocative. In the 1940s, this spirit of experimentation and rebellion found its way into the art world through the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock, who became the most prominent figure of the splatter painting movement.
Pollock’s breakthrough came in 1947 when he developed a technique of dripping and pouring paint onto the canvas. He would lay the canvas flat on the ground and move around it, using his whole body to create intricate and complex patterns. His paintings, such as “One: Number 31” (1950), were a radical departure from the figurative and representational art of the time. They were abstract, gestural, and expressive, conveying a sense of energy and movement that had never been seen before.
Pollock’s success inspired other artists to experiment with the splatter painting technique. One of these artists was Willem de Kooning, who was also a member of the Abstract Expressionist movement. De Kooning’s paintings, such as “Excavation” (1950), were less spontaneous than Pollock’s, but they still used the splatter painting technique to create abstract and dynamic compositions. Other artists who were influenced by splatter painting include Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Lee Krasner, who was Pollock’s wife and fellow artist.
In the 1960s, splatter painting evolved into a more radical and political form of art. This was partly due to the social and political upheavals of the time, such as the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Artists began to use the splatter painting technique to create works that were explicitly political and confrontational.
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