Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism: c. 1945-1960

Abstract Expressionism was not a single style and it wasn’t even consistently abstract. Rather, it was intensely personal painting often on a very large scale that was more concerned with exposing the act of creative invention than in traditions of representation. The term “New York School” usually refers to both the younger Abstract Expressionists and artists directly influenced by this movement. Pop—Warhol, Lichtenstein and Oldenburg—crashed the gates of high culture asking what authentic art looks like in a society filled with tawdry commercial images. And Minimalism isn’t simple, although Judd, Smithson, Christo and others did use simple forms to convey complex issues about the nature of art.