Burst! Abstract Painting After 1945

Burst! Abstract Painting After 1945 describes a vital creative exchange across the Atlantic that would entirely redefine painting. An unique analysis of the unexplored relationship between Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel.
Featuring works from Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, and many others both widely lauded and less well-known, Burst! is a richly illustrated and beautifully produced catalogue accompanying "The Shape of Freedom", an exhibition that has travelled from Museum Barberini to Albertina Modern and MUNCH.
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Mark Rothko


The triumph of radical abstraction after 1945 has been linked to notions of freedom, individuality, and a breaking away from the burdensome shackles of the art-historical tradition. Following the Second World War, figurative painting was increasingly seen as an outmoded impasse. Abstraction, on the other hand - considered as bursts of individual freedom - was soon championed as a fitting way of visibly leaving the scars of the past behind and hailed as the reflection of artistic, cultural, moral and social renewal.
Retracing the evolution of Action Painting and Color Field Painting from the mid-1940s to the end of the Cold War, this catalogue uncovers the vibrant transatlantic dialogue that underpinned the simultaneous development of these closely connected sister movements, which had their respective centres in Paris and New York. As the very antithesis of the Soviet Union's Socialist Realism and its dogmatic narrative schemes, Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel both championed abstraction as the universal language of a new, liberal world order - a move which effectively instrumentalised the new painting as a cultural weapon within the Cold War.

Description & Features


English language

Zamani Daniel
Thames & Hudson
23 x 31
Publication year
Number of pages

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