"Abstract Expressionist New York" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York captures the breadth and excitement of the most prominent postwar art movement from the 1940s until the 1960s. The museum played a major role in introducing the abstract expressionists, who were mostly working in New York.
One gains a renewed appreciation for the variety of work by these artists. Jackson Pollock's Number 1A (1948) is filled with the raw energy associated with an artist who proclaimed, "I am nature":
Willem de Kooning's "Woman 1" (1950) is part of a savage, primal–some even say misogynistic–series from a painter who never completely abandoned the human figure:
By contrast, Mark Rothko produced a body of work noteworthy for its introspective, contemplative qualities, as seen in "No. 5/No. 22" (1950):
Those interested in exploring this fascinating period should read "New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century" by Jed Perl, which I reviewed here. "Abstract Expressionist New York" is at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd St., NYC, until April 25, 2011.