Gestural Abstraction

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“Gestural” is used to describe expressive and vigorous mark-making, while “abstraction” refers to art that does not represent the visible world. These qualities can be observed both in the practice of an East Asian Calligrapher, whose state of mind may be reflected in the pressure, rhythm, and speed of an inked brush across paper, and in the movements of action painters, who revealed their psychological states through a variety of bodily techniques that included dabbing, dripping, pouring, pulling, smearing, and streaking paint on canvas. Contemporary artists like Cecily Brown and Amy Sillman continue to work in this energetic tradition, captivating viewers with their paintings’ brushy forms and evocative lines.

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