Tachisme (from French la tache "colour stain") is a direction of Informel in abstract painting that emerged in Paris in the 1940s and was active until around 1960. The term was coined by the French art critic Pierre Guéguen, who derogatorily called the works tachisme (German Fleckwerk).
In tachisme, the artist attempts to depict spontaneous sensations and the unconscious, avoiding any rational control, by applying spots of colour to a canvas.
In the USA, a closely related painting method emerged at about the same time in abstract expressionism with action painting, and the two terms are often used synonymously.
Well-known representatives are Roger Bissière, Karl Fred Dahmen, Nicolas de Staël, Karl Otto Götz, Gerhard Hoehme, Maria Lassnig, Eugen Mahler, Georges Mathieu, Ludwig Merwart, Emil Schumacher, Pierre Tal-Coat and Wols.