Post War American Expressionism


Marilyn Stokstad, the British art historian, wrote: ’’When the United States emerged from World War II as the most powerful nation in the world, its new stature was soon reflected in the arts. American artists and architects-especially those living in New York City assumed the leadership in artistic innovation that by the late 1950s had been acknowledged across the Atlantic Ocean, even in Paris. Critics, curators and art historians, trying to follow art’s ‘mainstream,’ now focused on New York as the new center of modernism.’’

New York School Abstract Expressionism represented by Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Franz Kline and others became the leading art movement of the postwar era.

Artists including James Brooks, Nicolas Carone, Giorgio Cavallon, Willem & Elaine De Kooning, Enrico Donati, John Ferren, Perle Fine, Michael Goldberg, Robert Goodnough, Grace Hartigan, Hans Hofmann, Earl Kerkam, Franz Kline, Albert Kotin, Conrad Marca-Relli, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Richard Pousette-Dart, Milton Resnick, James Rosati, Louis Schanker, David Smith, and Esteban Vicente were the 24 artists from the total of 256 participants who were included in the famous 9th St. Show, (1951) and in all the following New York Painting and Sculpture Annuals from 1953 to 1957. These Annuals were important because the participants were chosen by the artists themselves. 


 9th St. Show Poster                Second Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture


Third Annual Exhibition Poster                                   Fourth Annual Exhibition Poster


Fifth Annual Exhibition Poster                                        Six Annual Exhibition Poster

BOOK to consult:

New York School Abstract Expressionists: Artists Choice by Artists: A Complete Documentation of the New York Painting and Sculpture Annuals; 1951-1957 [Hardcover]

Abstract Expressionism-New York School Artists of the 9th St Show Reminisce 


3 thoughts on “Post War American Expressionism

  1. I am beginning research for a film about my aunt Day Schnabel who was one of the 9th St exhibitors & signatory to the 1950 MOMA letter. It would take in her identity as a Jewish woman artist (nee Thalberg she was a cousin of my father’s). I would be extremely grateful if I could contact you as I have seen with great interest all your work on this area. I am based in the UK. Yours, Penny Lewis-Stempel

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