Abstract Expressionism

It seems almost incredible that the last collective exhibition in London devoted to this postwar school was at what is now Tate Britain in 1959. Few painters can have had such a profound influence on contemporary art as this US school. And some of them – in particular Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still and Willem de Kooning – have already rightly taken their place in the pantheon of the masters. It’s apt that this fabulous retrospective of their work at the Royal Academy should have Pollock at its core: his genius shines through despite so many of his creations being so well known. But there are wonderful surprises in the rooms that orbit his work, none more so than the works of his widow Lee Krasner who unforgettably mirrors his style without ever mimicking it. And take a long look at the apparently black paintings of Ad Reinhardt – whole worlds of design and colour eventually reveal themselves in the darkness. The exhibition runs till January 2.

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