I have a convoluted relationship with Abstract Expressionism (hence AE). That is to say, i have a great love for much AE painting, and for the notion of painting in which painting itself is the object; but the ideology of AE is so strongly masculinist and american-imperialist that it is hard to feel much but revulsion for the movement itself. (E.g. Harold Rosenberg, "The American Action Painters," The London Magazine 1.4 (July 1961), http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=9798.)
So as i go along my merry way, i keep in my head a folder with the label "women artists who offer cool responses to AE." Responses: alternatives, ripostes, expansions? These artists allow me to bridge the gap, to celebrate AE as a catalyst for other research and other work.Or, put another way, they fulfill the promise of AE in a way that the movement itself could not.
Needless to say the work of these women can be and should be read in many other ways; they are not reducible to a movement in which they did not partake. But that is the angle through which i wish to view them for now.
As i write posts, i'll add names and links below. And they will share the "women action painters" tag.
1. Lee Bontecou (b. 1931)