Action painting by RienArts, creating an abstract sculpture.

Action painting

juni 10, 2016 by Rien Aerts

Action painting

Action Painting emphasizes the process of making art, often through a variety of techniques that include dripping, dabbing, smearing, and even flinging paint on to the surface of the canvas. These energetic techniques depend on broad gestures directed by the artist’s sense of control interacting with chance or random occurrences.

Also called Gestural painting: characterized by energetic, expressive brushstrokes deliberately emphasizing the sweep of the painter’s arm or movement of the hand. In other words, he brushwork in a action painting expresses the artist’s emotions and personality just like a person’s gestures reflect their feelings in everyday life. Gesturalism also emphasizes the physical act of painting itself, drawing attention to the “process of creating”.

What makes an action painting or action painting more enticing to look at is the fact that tickles the minds of the viewers. Action painting simply gives this feeling of excitement in figuring out the possible shapes that are in the painting.

Historically, this style of painting has gained popularity in the 1940s up to the 1960s. It is called as action painting because the canvas serves as an arena in which the artist can act. Considering that there isn’t the usual or slow stroke of brushes, in action painting, much force is given to spread out the paint to splatter unto the canvas to give this striking yet subtle effect. Some action painting would follow straight and uneven lines while others would actually be in circles, creating nonsense or whimsical patterns.

Among the painters who have gained popularity in the action painting scene are: Karel Appel, a Dutch artist not only known for his action painting but also as sculptor and poet. Another American action painter who was praised yet was never really given much recognition as an action painting painter compared to the known contemporary artist was Norman Bluhm. Other famous contemporary action painting or action painters are: Joan Mitchell and Jackson Pollock, etc.


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