Art in America

Art in America

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Art in the U.S. is known across the world for being about as eclectic as the population. Diversity is definitely a U.S. trademark in any number of life’s vocations, including art. Because of this nature of the United States, it is difficult to attribute, as is commonly done with other nations, an overall style to art in the U.S. In fact, art in the U.S. is so eclectic that, in many cases, it is impossible to pin a single artist down to one particular mode of art. Today, for example, practitioners of art in the U.S. are often no longer thought of as “painters” or “writers” or “musicians.” Rather, they are simply artists who incorporate of the above, and more, into their work. Some talented “painters,” for example, are also very well known for their stage acting skills. And many professional musicians are also poets or even experts in some form of visual arts. Computers today enable artists of all disciplines to merge their skills to create multi-media masterpieces that combine a wide variety of visual and audio (and in some recent instances even olfactory) works.

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All of that said, however, the recent history of art in the U.S. – as eclectic as it has been — has been heavily influenced by one particular painting movement known as Abstract Expressionism.

Experts on the history of art in the U.S. are quick to point out that Abstract Expressionism, which came about as World War II was winding down, is the first major art movement that both originated in the U.S. and had influence on artists across the globe. (Art in the U.S. is filled with examples of other movements from earlier periods, but none of those are generally thought to have exercised much international influence.) In fact, many who have studied art in the U.S. say that Abstract Expressionism, born in New York, put that city on the international map for art and helped it begin seriously challenging Paris as the art capital of the world. (At title which it, arguably, holds today.)

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Ironically, Abstract Expressionism, is not uniquely American, however. In general, the school combines signature elements of what German art was doing at the time (most famous German artists had adopted the Expressionist school) with the other abstract styles that were common elsewhere in Europe (cubism, futurism and others). And that turned into a style that, while not necessarily unique to Americans came to be seen as uniquely American. So, as with most other elements of life in the U.S., art in the U.S. came of age in the 20th century by simply being a melting pot for a variety of ideas born elsewhere. Such is the heritage of most things in the U.S.

Abstract Expressionism has evolved into an array of other schools – from Modernism to Post-modernism to a number of other off shoots of those two famous movements. But, in general, art in the U.S. today can be said to continue to boldly explore new ideas and new styles by simply combining what others around the world are doing. Art in the U.S., like the nation itself, is an amazing melting pot of all that is great about humanity.