Lyrical Abstraction  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Lyrical Abstraction is an art movement born in Paris after World War II. At that time, France was trying to reconstruct her identity devastated by the Occupation and Collaboration. Some art critics looked at the new abstraction as an attempt to try to restore the image of artistic Paris, which had held the rank of capital of the arts until the war. It is possible that lyrical abstraction also represented a competition between Paris and the new American school of painting, Abstract Expressionism, based in New York representated by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and many others. The New York School versus the School of Paris.

Lyrical abstraction was opposed not only to Cubist and Surrealist movements that preceded it, but also to geometric abstraction (or "cold abstraction"). Lyrical abstraction was in some ways the first to apply the lessons of Kandinsky, considered one of the fathers of abstraction. For the artists in France, lyrical abstraction represented an opening to personal expression.

Many exhibitions were held in Paris for example at the Drouin gallery where one could see Jean Le Moal, Gustave Singier, Alfred Manessier, Roger Bissière, Wols and others. A wind blew over the capital when Georges Mathieu decided to hold two exhibitions: "Abstraction Lyrique" at the Palais du Luxembourg in 1947 and then "HWPSMTB" (Hans Hartung, Wols, Francis Picabia, Francis Stahly sculptor, Georges Mathieu, Michel Tapié and Camille Bryen) in 1948. It was, however, a fairly short reign (late 1957), which was quickly supplanted by the New Realism of Pierre Restany and Yves Klein.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lyrical Abstraction" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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