Informal art

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After World War II, both in Europe and in the United States, was born the Informal Art.
For me it is the highest expression of Abstract Art in which the artist, after sending disused traditional instruments hitherto used to paint, start exploring new techniques, new concepts of expression, new chromatic harmonies.
Hans Hartung
Hans Hartung

Since that time the artists freed the traditional rules and without conditions begin new forms of painting defined: gestural painting, signic paiting, textured painting.

Action painting

The action painting is the expression of the gesture, action, movement. The observer admiring an abstract piece gestural feel the sensation of movement, snatches the gesture, the artist’s touch.

In America it is called “Action painting” or “Abstract Expressionism”.

The most important painter action painting “perhaps the real initiator of this way of painting is Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956) Who said:

Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock

“For me, modern art is nothing more than the expression of the ideals of the era in which we live.” …

“The modern artist works to express an inner world; in other words, expresses the movement, energy and other inner forces.” …

“Painting is a state of ‘being, the painting is a self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.”

“Painting is a way of being” …

When Pollock speaks of painting as a discovery of himself, expression of movement, energy and inner forces, speaks of the artist’s desire to show himself on the canvas to express feelings and emotions.


Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock was born January 28, 1912 in Cody in the state of Wyoming. He spent his childhood and adolescence in Arizona and California. His is a very large peasant family (Jackson is the youngest of five children), Scottish-origin irlandese.Già fifteen Jackson is quite restless and addicted to alcohol. He attended the High School of Reverside from which is removed for indiscipline and, in 1929, also from the High School in Los Angeles, which he had joined in 1925.

During the Great Depression lives in New York, where he lives and where he attended the day courses of Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Student Leaugue.Nel 1936 he attended the Laboratory of Modern techniques in Art Siqueiros, where experiments with techniques, tools and non-traditional painting materials. From 1938 to 1942 he worked in the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project in the murals department, but few have the interest and success.

It ‘a period of severe economic hardship and deprivation. In 1940 knows Orozco and Mexican painting. Participates in the exhibition of the Art of This Century (1942), and is appreciated by the critic Clement Greenberg, who will follow and support him throughout his future career. In 1943 he met Peggy Guggenheim with which he signed a five-year contract. Thanks to her, in 1944 he presented his first solo exhibition that opens the doors of celebrities.

He married the painter Lee Krasner in 1940 and moved with her into a Long Island farm, where he leads a modest life, away from alcohol. The years between 1945 and 1950 are the most creative. Jackson Pollock died on August 11, 1956 in a car accident, drunk driving his car, in South-Hampton.

Its innovation have been in the “dripping” literally dripping technique, which consists of the color drip on the canvas with gestures and ritual movements like a dance. Sometimes the ‘artist walking even over the canvas, nestled amid the colors, leaving marks and footprints so says the’ Artist of being ‘inside’ the ‘work, because for him painting is a way to get in contact with the individual and universal reality. In this way all the traditional instruments are abolished, for example, as the palette, brushes or easel, because for Pollock are these tools that limit the creative spontaneity of an artist.

Even painting by Willem de Kooning, it is gestural. The Artist gives, the task of creating the ‘work to impulsive act, while not giving up to the presence of figurative elements.

As for the gestural art in Italy we can say that one of the exponents major is Emilio Vedova. In fact the artist intervenes on the canvas with violent and immediate gestures creates color tangles that reflect an emotional way of looking at reality.

Emilio Vedova
Emilio Vedova

Signic painting

The semiotic painting is characterized by the use of signs, for the realization of artwork, where artists do not use such signs, to represent the forms and images in the classical sense but are a form representation of the signs.

Those which can be arranged in a rational or spontaneous and intuitive. Among the most significant artists Giuseppe Capogrossi, Hans Hartung, Georges Mathieu.

Hans Hartung
Hans Hartung

The works of Joseph Capogrossi, are executed in a virtuous, precise, with reasoned signs almost as a writing, as a personal alphabet.

Textured painting

The textured painting is one in which the materials used play an important role.

The value assigned to the material is evident in the works of Alberto Burri and those of the Spanish Antoni Tapies.

In the works of Burri are the protagonists of the “poor” materials, rough and coarse, such as canvas sack full of holes and mended, charred timbers, crudely welded sheets. then everything is dialed dall”artista in a creative and personal way to make us passionate lovers of the works that now entered the history dell’Arte such as the work entitled the 1953 Sacco.

The Tapies paintings are abstract and often monochromatic (one color) realized on surfaces made rough, gritty, and by the use of porous materials found in nature.

Another artist who has explored the possibilities offered by the various materials is Jean Dubuffet in his works that mixes the colors of the sand, dirt, mud and tar to get a thick paint surface on which to intervene with various instruments.

Burri, Cretto nero, 1976
Burri, Cretto nero, 1976

Dubuffet unlike Burri and Tapies does not give us an abstract art. His images refer to the reality that is interpreted so naive and instinctive with the spontaneity that we can find when we look at a drawing of a child. The work of Dubuffet clarifies the end of ‘Informal Art: regardless of the results achieved, whether abstract or figurative, what matters is the process used, the value that the’ Artist attaches to the act, to sign or to matter.


Even the artistic production of Lucio Fontana can be among the Informal Art experiences, particularly in the address gestural and material. It is with the gesture that the ‘artist works on canvas which is generally monochrome punctured, cut or torn by the use of awls or box cutters. Thus the outer space through the canvas and become part of the ‘work itself. These Fontana space research gave rise to the movement known as Spatialism.

Lucio Fontana, L'attesa, 1965
Lucio Fontana, L’attesa, 1965
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