Most Progressive American Artists Essay


The artists are not ranked according to influence or fame, they are simply listed chronologically, which I feel is the best way to exhibit the trends that they created. At first, I had intended to explain how each artist influenced the American culture, but upon beginning my research I found that sometimes it is the artist who influences the country, and sometimes it is the country that influences the artist, making it difficult to take a solid position, or develop effective criteria. I also found that there is so much overlap of influence from one artist to another that it would be extremely difficult to say one had any less or more influence than the other.Often in my reading, the descriptions of the artists included the term “abstract-expressionism” . I tried to ignore it, but as I progressed the word was becoming nearly ubiquitous. (good word huh?) This is a brief background on “abstract-expressionism”-During and after world war II many European artists fled Europe and headed to America for safety, their presence heralded one of the most progressive artistic movements in history. Its difficult to gauge how much they actually did influence American art, but its clear that in the 40’s and 50s American artists became internationally important (as never before) with their new visions and artistic vocabulary. This was given the title of abstract-expressionism. However, not all of the works by the artists that are categorized under the title were abstract, nor were they all expressive. What the artists and their works held in common was their morally loaded themes, heavy and tragic, often on grandiose scales. They felt uncomfortable with traditional and conventional subjects and st…

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…hool he studied technical drawing and design, not fine art. He worked as a commercial artist in new York for vogue and harpers bazaar, designed window displays for Bonwit Teller, and did advertisements for a shoe company. Warhol rejected the still prevalent abstract-expressionism and moved his commercial art to center stage. He used dollar bills, Campbell soup cans, and coca-cola bottles as canvases and as subjects for his painting, he was one of the first to take well known celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, and use them as the major subjects of his paintings He declared that these objects were the great modern things that the abstract expressionists tried not to notice . His art was intentionally devoid of emotional and social comment. He wanted not only to take the trivial and commonplace and make it art but also to take art and make it trivial and commonplace.


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