Post-painterly abstraction

1960s: Days of Rage

Morris Louis, Alpha-Phi (1961)

“As a rebellion against the gestural and painterly approach of numerous Abstract Expressionists, term post-painterly abstraction was coined to help define the variety of styles which came forth. In 1964, the author of the term, critic Clement Greenberg used it in the title of the exhibition featuring new tendencies in color field painting, hard-edge abstraction, and the Washington Color School. Believing that early 1950s Abstract Expressionism has stopped achieving any innovations in painting, the critic turned his eye and the eye of the public towards works lacking any evidence of the artist’s inner workings. Anonymous in its execution, the new paintings reflected the move away from the grandiose drama and spirituality of Abstract Expressionism. … Seen as the most important event, which has helped to place post-painterly abstraction on the map of art history, is the 1964 show at the Los Angeles…

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