Visions of America Abstraction

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Visionsof America: Abstraction


Americanmodernism is a movement both cultural and artistic whose effect wasintense between World War I and World War II and has continued intothe 21stcentury.

Theabstract style of the early American modernists originated from theeffect of the Industrial revolution (Barbour, 2000). The lives ofAmericans began to be affected by the changes in technology,transport and urbanization. The demand for applied arts andarchitecture increased that led to emergence of a group ofentrepreneurs known as art collectors. As a result, the United Statesartistic expression in terms of music, painting and literaturegreatly improved. An example of this abstract art work is drippainting where paint is dripped on to the canvas. Francis Picabia isone of the first artists to employ drip painting in his work.

Therewere efforts by various artists such as Joseph Stella, MarsdenHartley, Max Weber, and Georgia O`Keeffe to portray the culturalexuberance of the United States Landscape. However, in early 20thcentury, there arose a group of artists from New York City namedAshcan school. There arts mainly depicted the lower class immigrants.This brought about critics between the group and other artists suchas Joseph Stella (Haskell, 1994). As Ashcan school was focused onrealism and freedom in technique, Joseph Stella’s work portrayedthe existence of the other side of the coin. They had an optimisticand exciting outlook of the American cityscape which portrayed thefirst half of the 20thcentury.

Candombedance is one of the American cultures that originated from Africanslavery. Candombe is a word which means &quotplace and dance ofAfricans” (Barbour, 2000). It is filled with African symbols andhas been passed on from generation to generation. The dance and itsrhythm make me feel the value and importance of the varied culturesfrom different places that might have been forgotten by the modernworld.

Fromthe above discussions, it is right to say that America is one of thecountries in the world with varied arts and culture whose origin canbe traced back to industrial revolution and the early Americanmodernists who worked creatively to establish the existing arts.


Barbour,S. (2000). Americanmodernism.San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press.

Haskell,B., Stella, J., &amp Whitney Museum of American Art. (1994). JosephStella.New York: Whitney Museum of American Art.

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