Known as the first great American art movement, abstract expressionism placed US in the center for the world’s artists, dealers and collectors. Abstract Expressionism is characterized by large, abstract and emotionally charged oil paintings. Thanks to its emergence in 1940s and 1950s, New York became the focus of the art world. Similar to modern art movement right after the World War, abstract expressionism developed right after times of stress, namely, Great Depression, overlapping with the Vietnam War.

One can feel the American twist in the works of abstract expressionists, charged with the age of anxiety, free jazz and Beat poetry. The usual suspects are Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning, who broke away from the traditions of painting. Defined by a strong sense of confidence, it did not have a formula like cubism and surrealism did. It reflected the soul of 1940s New York with all its diversity and effortless grandeur.

Now Guggenheim Museum celebrates the first great American Art movement with a with over 130 paintings, sculptures, and photographs from public and private collections across the world, the exhibition gathers masterpieces by the most acclaimed American artists associated with the movement–among them, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Aaron Siskind, David Smith, and Clyfford Still, as well as lesser-known but no less vital artists.

Exhibition organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London with the collaboration of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. 

Barnett Newman


Joan Mitchell

Willem De Kooning

Franz Kline

Jackson Pollock

Maxim Gorky