United States Art
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, artists primarily painted landscapes and portraits in a realistic style. A parallel development taking shape in rural America was the American craft movement, which began as a reaction to the industrial revolution. Developments in modern art in Europe came to the United States from exhibitions in New York City such as the Armory Show in 1913. Previously United States Artists had based the majority of their work on Western Painting and European Arts. After World War II, New York replaced Paris as the center of the art world. Since then many United States Art Movements have shaped Modern and Post Modern art. Art in the United States today covers a huge range of styles.
Most of early United States art (from the late 18th century through the early 19th century) consists of history painting and portraits. Painters such as Gilbert Stuart made portraits of the newly elected government officials, while John Singleton Copley was painting emblematic portraits for the increasingly prosperous merchant class, and painters such as John Trumbull were making large battle scenes of the Revolutionary War. The nineteenth century saw the emergence of the United States's first well-known school of painting—the Hudson River School. The Hudson River painters' directness and simplicity of vision influenced such later artists as Winslow Homer (1836–1910), who depicted rural America—the sea, the mountains, and the people who lived near them. Paintings of the Great West, particularly the act of conveying the sheer size of the land and the cultures of the native people living on it, were starting to emerge as well.
American realism became the new direction for United States visual artists at the turn of the 20th century. In photography the Photo-Secession movement led by Alfred Steiglitz made pathways for photography as an emerging art form. Soon the Ashcan school artists gave way to modernists arriving from Europe—the cubists and abstract painters promoted by the photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) at his 291 Gallery in New York City. In the years after World War II, a group of New York artists formed the first United States art movement to exert major influence internationally: abstract expressionism. This term, which had first been used in 1919 in Berlin, was used again in 1946 by Robert Coates in The New York Times, and was taken up by the two major art critics of that time, Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg. It has always been criticized as too large and paradoxical, yet the common definition implies the use of abstract art to express feelings, emotions, what is within the artist, and not what stands without.
During the 1950s abstract painting in America evolved into movements such as Neo-Dada, Post painterly abstraction, Op Art, hard-edge painting, Minimal art, Shaped canvas painting, Lyrical Abstraction, and the continuation of Abstract expressionism. As a response to the tendency toward abstraction imagery emerged through various new movements like Pop Art, the Bay Area Figurative Movement and later in the 1970s Neo-expressionism.