Support: Basenwerk Parchment wove paper
Sheet: 88.8 x 66.1 cm (34 15/16 x 26 in.); Image: 76.2 x 60.9 cm (30 x 24 in.)
Gift of various donors to the department of Prints and Drawings 2002.76
The Abstract Expressionists, like the Surrealists, rejected the limited perceptions of rational thought and used automatism: marks made by moving the hand rapidly and uncontrollably to produce images that emerge directly from the unconscious mind. Abstract Expressionists made art intuitively; their works record the spontaneous gestures of an arm moving across a canvas or sheet of paper. Many of the Abstract Expressionists made prints. Since a block of wood can be carved freely, woodcut was often used to obtain dynamic images which have a startling immediacy and reveal the process of their creation. The compositions are vigorous and animated, covering the entire sheet, so that the eye travels continuously over the surface.
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