5. Abstract Expressionism
After the upheaval of World War II, American artists rejected figural subjects and traditional tools such as paintbrushes and easels in favor of nonrepresentational compositions and experimental techniques. Jackson Pollock threw, dripped, splattered and poured paint on huge canvases to evoke the disorienting chaos and freedom of the modern world. Willem de Kooning used long-handled brushes to give his paintings an awkward, out-of-control quality. And Clyfford Still—whose enormous fiery works inspired FORM Design Studio’s hand-woven Bisous rug—used a palette knife as a trowel to layer on heavy impasto textures.