Action painting, sometimes called " gestural abstraction ", is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work or concern of its artist. Artists who paint with an interest in spontaneity, monumental size, the individual psyche, and universal expressions of feeling are considered to be Action Abstract Painters.

Ultimate Action Abstraction Painting

A term coined by the American critic Harold Rosenberg in 1952 to define a specific set of Abstract Expressionist artists who saw the canvas as an “arena in which to act.” Artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline were associated with this term due to their more spontaneous and/or physical act of painting. Such an idea of painting—emphasizes its physical process. Various critics have tied the appearance of action painting to the ideas of Jung and Freud as well as Surrealism. Action was a way to evoke the primeval and an archetypal expression, and automatic painting and drawing techniques had previously been practiced by Joan Miró and André Masson.

Related Categories

Post-Painterly Abstraction, Art Informel, Abstract Expressionism, Gestural, Line, Form, and Color, 1860–1969, Abstract Painting, 20th Century Art, Irregular Linear Forms, Color Theory

Related Artists

Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Walter Quirt, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Shozo Shimamoto, James Brooks, Raymond Hendler, Sam Francis


Interdisciplinary arts are a combination of arts that use an interdisciplinary approach involving more than one artistic discipline. Examples of different arts include visual arts, performing arts, musical arts, digital arts, conceptual arts, etc. Wikipedia