Painting: The New Ancestors

No avant-garde art movement has ever won such instant recognition—and evoked such instant outrage—as did Abstract Expressionism, the movement that sprang from the lofts of downtown Manhattan and the studios at the far tip of Long Island in the turbulent years after World War II. Its trademark was a photograph of Jackson Pollock, intently swirling skeins of paint from a stick onto a canvas laid flat on a floor. "The most powerful painter in contemporary America," declared Critic Clement Greenberg. "Chaos . . . wallpaper . . . an elaborate if meaningless...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!