Tachisme (alternative spelling: Tachism, derived from the French word tache, stain) is a French style of abstract painting popular in the 1940s and 1950s. The term is said to have been first used with regards to the movement in 1951.It is often considered to be the European equivalent to abstract expressionism, although there are stylistic differences (American abstract expressionism tended to be more "aggressively raw" than tachisme). It was part of a larger postwar movement known as Art Informel (or Informel), which abandoned geometric abstraction in favour of a more intuitive form of expression, similar to action painting. Another name for Tachism is Abstraction lyrique (related to American Lyrical Abstraction). COBRA is also related to Tachisme, as is Japan's Gutai group.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. The sources from which individual artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, and reflected the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western culture at that time.
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.
After World War II the term School of Paris often referred to Tachisme, the European equivalent of American abstract expressionism. Important proponents were Jean-Paul Riopelle, Wols, Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, Gérard Schneider, Serge Poliakoff, Georges Mathieu and Jean Messagier, among several others. (See list of artists below.)
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
School of Paris refers to the French and émigré artists who worked in Paris in the first half of the 20th century.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
According to Chilvers, the term tachisme "was first used in this sense in about 1951 (the French critics Charles Estienne and Pierre Guéguen have each been credited with coining it) and it was given wide currency by [French critic and painter] Michel Tapié in his book Un Art autre (1952)."
Michel Tapié was a French art critic, curator, and collector. He was an early and influential theorist and practitioner of "tachisme", a French style of abstract painting popular in the 1940s and 1950s which is regarded as a European version of abstract expressionism.Tapié was a founder member of the Compagnie de l'Art Brut with Dubuffet and Breton In 1948, as well he managed the Foyer De l'Art Brut at the Galerie René Drouin.Tapié was from an aristocratic French family and was a second cousin once removed of the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The painter's mother Adèle Tapié de Celeyran was Tapié's great-aunt.
Tachisme was a reaction to Cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brushwork, drips and blobs of paint straight from the tube, and sometimes scribbling reminiscent of calligraphy.
Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde art movement that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture. Cubism has been considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century. The term is broadly used in association with a wide variety of art produced in Paris or near Paris (Puteaux) during the 1910s and throughout the 1920s.
Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, or other writing instruments. A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner".
Tachisme is closely related to Informalism or Art Informel, which, in its 1950s French art-critical context, referred not so much to a sense of "informal art" as "a lack or absence of form itself"–non-formal or un-form-ulated–and not a simple reduction of formality or formalness. Art Informel was more about the absence of premeditated structure, conception or approach (sans cérémonie) than a mere casual, loosened or relaxed art procedure.
Informalism or Art Informel is a pictorial movement from the 1940s–1950s, that includes all the abstract and gestural tendencies that developed in France and the rest of Europe during the World War II, parallel to American abstract expressionism. Several distinguishing trends are identified within the movement such as lyrical abstraction, matter painting, New Paris School, tachisme and art brut. The French art critic Michel Tapié coined the term "art autre" in the homonymous book published in 1952 in relation to non-geometric abstract art.
Pierre Alechinsky is a Belgian artist. He has lived and worked in France since 1951. His work is related to tachisme, abstract expressionism, and lyrical abstraction.
Christiaan Karel Appel was a Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet. He started painting at the age of fourteen and studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in the 1940s. He was one of the founders of the avant-garde movement Cobra in 1948. He was also an avid sculptor and has had works featured in MoMA and other museums worldwide.
Frank Avray Wilson was a British artist and author.
Abstract expressionism is a post–World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York in the 1940s. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve international influence and put New York City at the center of the western art world, a role formerly filled by Paris. Although the term "abstract expressionism" was first applied to American art in 1946 by the art critic Robert Coates, it had been first used in Germany in 1919 in the magazine Der Sturm, regarding German Expressionism. In the United States, Alfred Barr was the first to use this term in 1929 in relation to works by Wassily Kandinsky.
Abstract impressionism is a type of abstract painting where small brushstrokes or application with a palette knife build and structure larger surface areas. The artist's emotion and focus on inner energy, and sometimes contemplation, create expressive, lyrical and thoughtful qualities in the paintings. The brushstrokes are similar to those of impressionists such as Monet and post-impressionists such as van Gogh and Seurat, only tending toward abstraction. While in the action painting style of abstract expressionism brushstrokes were often large and bold and paint was applied in a rapid outpouring of emotion and energy, the Abstract Impressionist's short and intense brushstrokes or non-traditional application of paints and textures is often done slowly and with purpose, using the passage of time as an asset and a technique. Milton Resnick, Sam Francis, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Philip Guston were notable abstract impressionist painters during the 1950s. Paul Jackson Pollock, known as Jackson Pollock, was a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement, and Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle helped introduce Lyrical abstraction to Paris in the early 1950s.
Action painting, sometimes called "gestural abstraction", is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work or concern of its artist.
Wols was the pseudonym of Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, a German painter and photographer predominantly active in France. Though broadly unrecognized in his lifetime, he is considered a pioneer of lyrical abstraction, one of the most influential artists of the Tachisme movement. He is the author of a book on art theory entitled Aphorismes de Wols.
This is a chronological list of periods in Western art history. An art period is a phase in the development of the work of an artist, groups of artists or art movement.
20th-century French art developed out of the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism that dominated French art at the end of the 19th century. The first half of the 20th century in France saw the even more revolutionary experiments of Cubism, Dada and Surrealism, artistic movements that would have a major impact on western, and eventually world, art. After World War II, while French artists explored such tendencies as Tachism, Fluxus and New realism, France's preeminence in the visual arts progressively became eclipsed by developments elsewhere.
Georges Mathieu was a French abstract painter, art theorist and member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He is considered one of the fathers of European lyrical abstraction, a trend of informalism.
Lyrical abstraction is either of two related but distinct trends in Post-war Modernist painting:
The Gutai group is the first radical, post-war artistic group in Japan. It was founded in 1954 by the painter Jiro Yoshihara in Osaka, Japan, in response to the reactionary artistic context of the time. This influential group was involved in large-scale multimedia environments, performances, and theatrical events and emphasizes the relationship between body and matter in pursuit of originality. The movement rejected traditional art styles in favor of performative immediacy.
Jiro Yoshihara was a Japanese painter. In 1954, along with Shōzō Shimamoto, he co-founded the avant-garde Gutai group in Osaka. He was a businessman and scion of a family that owned a cooking-oil company, along with a group of young, Hanshin-region artists. Yoshihara had taught Western-style painting before becoming Gutai’s leader. Yoshihara wrote the "Gutai Manifesto" in 1956 and was the leader of the so named group of internationally acclaimed avant-garde artists representative of Japan's post-war art world. He worked in surrealist and abstract expressionist painting styles before turning, in his final years, to the repeated depiction of circles reminiscent of "satori," the enlightenment of Zen. This white circle was made by leaving the canvas unpainted while painting the background black. When asked about his circles, Yoshihara said that he could not manage to paint even one circle with satisfaction, an indication of the depths of his pursuit of this form. Indeed, no two of his circles are shaped exactly alike. He was the leader of the Gutai Group until his death in 1972.
André Lanskoy was a Russian painter and printmaker who worked in France. He is associated with the School of Paris and Tachisme, an abstract painting movement that began during the 1940s.
20th-century Western painting begins with the heritage of late-19th-century painters Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and others who were essential for the development of modern art. At the beginning of the 20th century, Henri Matisse and several other young artists including the pre-cubist Georges Braque, André Derain, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck revolutionized the Paris art world with "wild", multi-colored, expressive landscapes and figure paintings that the critics called Fauvism. Matisse's second version of The Dance signified a key point in his career and in the development of modern painting. It reflected Matisse's incipient fascination with primitive art: the intense warm color of the figures against the cool blue-green background and the rhythmical succession of the dancing nudes convey the feelings of emotional liberation and hedonism.
Jean Messagier was a French painter, sculptor, printmaker and poet. Jean Messagier had his first solo exhibition in Paris at Galerie Arc-en-Ciel in 1947. From 1945 to 1949 the artist worked under the influence of Pablo Picasso, André Masson, Paul Klee and François Desnoyer, his professor at École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris. Messagier again was revealed to the public at an exhibition organized by Charles Estienne at the Galerie de Babylone in 1952, entitled "La Nouvelle École de Paris". The following year, Messagier deliberately broke away from his expressionistic form of Post-Cubism; his inspirations now focused on Jean Fautrier and Pierre Tal-Coat to develop a personal vision in which he renders "light...approached abstractly." Jean Messagier is often associated with Lyrical abstraction, Tachisme, Nuagisme, Art informel and paysagisme abstrait, though the artist himself had never accepted any labels, and had always refused the distinction between abstraction and figuration. From 1962 until the year of his death Jean Messagier exhibited in France and abroad, taking part in some major international events as a representative of new trends in French painting.
Franck Prazan, is a French art-collector and the owner of Applicat-Prazan gallery in Paris.He specialises in School of Paris, a Post-War abstract painting movement, whose main artists include Jean-Michel Atlan, Pierre Soulages, Serge Poliakoff, Nicolas de Staël.
Applicat-Prazan gallery was established in 1993 on the Left Bank in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris at 16 rue de Seine under the initiative of Bernard Prazan, a keen art collector.