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Consider the artistic-historical forms in Abstract Expressionism (USA), Art Informel

(France/Europe) and Gutai (Japan). How do they unfold in terms of physical engagement with
painting and performance?
Action painting A term coined by the critic Harold Rosenberg describe a central principle of the
Abstract Expressionist art movement that developed in the 1940s and '50s. The goal of action
painting was to capture the act of creating the painting: the painting itself was to be seen simply as
the representation of the act of producing it. (Quinn, 2006, p.6)
Gestural abstraction, abstract expressionism or action painting is a art form which holds the
performer with little control of the finial product or the strokes of the paintbrush and expresses an
explosion of powerful movements and conveys a sense of movement within the work, also
implementing a wide construct of chance.
Action Painting tore away from a traditional style of creating artwork, which put the end result and
the artist at the centre of the artwork. Instead action painting immerses the artist with an embodied
physicalisation of nature and the natural world. It could be argued that action painters, such as
Jackson Pollock just perform physical pieces and use the paint as a medium to document and extend
their work but as Rosenberg asserts The innovation of Action Painting was to dispense with the
representation of the state in favor of enacting it in physical movement. The action on the canvas
became its own representation. This was possible because an action, being made of both the psychic
and the material, is by its nature a signit is the trace of a movement whose beginning and
character it does not in itself ever altogether reveal(1962, p. 3). Concluding that the action of
painting using symbology and physicalisation relates directly to the movement and spontaneity of
nature and the human mind.
Next emerged a new movement which goes by the name of Art Informel- Refusing to be recognised
as Expression Art despite being coined as the European equivalent but with more aggressive and
powerful expressions. Chilver's assert the relation within action painters. Art Informel is a Term
coined by the French critic Michel Tapie to describe a type of spontaneous abstract painting popular
among European artist in the 1940's and 1950's, roughly equivalent to *Abstract Expressionism. In
correlation with Art informal came a japanese movement called The Gutai Group (Which translates
to embodiment) who progressed from traditional values and included the notion of embodiment.
[T]he 1st gutai Art Exhibition (1955) challenged the formats, materials, and boundaries of painting
with innovative projects that explore space, space, time, and sound. (Tiampo, 2011, p. 21)
Each artist expressed their own form of painting in relation to embodiment and strong connection to
nature and symbolism. Progression with abstract art seems to have strong resemblance to the post
war era's, allowing a form of liberation and freedom to take place within art; not having a specific
goal or product but working in ways which is original and relying on concepts and deluded structure
to centralise their performance of art while decentering modernism.

Chilvers, I. (2004).The Oxford Dictionary of Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rosenberg, H. (1962). Action Painting: A Decade of Distortion. Art News, 61, 42-44.
Tiampo, M. (2011). Gutai: Decentering Modernism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Quinn, E. (2006). A Dictionary of Literary And Thematic Terms. New York: info based publishing.