The New York School was a group of American painters and poets in New York that crystallised from the early 1940s. Arshile Gorky, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock are considered important artists of the first generation. In 1946, the New York art critic Robert Coates coined the term Abstract Expressionism.
The opening of Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery in October 1942 was seen as a sensation by New York artists. The first show, designed by the architect Frederick Kiesler, featured works by Kandinsky, Miró, Klee, Arp and Masson, among others. The free pictorial language of the Europeans, breaking away from Cubist models and geometric abstractions, and the bimorphic formal vocabulary of Arp made a strong impression on Gorky in particular, but did not leave Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still untouched.
The New York School
A group around the painter Ad Reinhardt and the art critic Clement Greenberg caused a sensation in 1950 when these artists refused to participate in an exhibition of current American art at the New York Museum of Modern Art. The action of the Irascibles was described as a protest against the museum's policies and was intended to portray Abstract Expressionist painting as genuinely American art, as the avant-garde revolt of a continuing awakening.
In the following years, the New York School label became so successful that exhibitions in New York introduced artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg as "Artists of the New York School, Second Generation". Johns and Rauschenberg are now classified as a link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Pop Art, in turn, is often cited in art historical accounts as a reaction against the anti-life tendencies of Abstract Expressionism.
The visual artists of the New York School today include: Louise Bourgeois, Joe Brainard, Marisol Escobar, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Franz Kline, Elaine de Kooning, Seymour Lipton, Conrad Marca-Relli, Joan Mitchell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Mark Rothko and David Smith.