Fifties art was a step in a new direction. American culture was changing in many ways during this decade and the changes were reflected in the art of the time.
Life in the 1950s was very different. After the great depression and World War II Americans were ready to move forward into a new era. It was a more optimistic time in many ways. It was also a time of new inventions and an emerging civil rights movement. However, it was also a time of looming disaster as North Korean aggression threatened freedoms around the world.
A Different Style of Art
Much of the iconic American art of the 1950s was actually the result of European influence in the 1940s New York Art Scene. This is where Abstract Expressionism became popular in the U.S. Two sub-genres grew in popularity in the ’50s and changed everything. Action painting, as popularized in the U.S by Jackson Polliick and Color Field Painting. The latter was born in the 1950s but inspired by earlier European modernism.
Fifties Art Rebelled Against Cultural Norms
Action Painting and Color Field Painting both rebelled against artistic conventions and reflected a Society that would come to question long-held cultural norms of race and gender roles. Pop art also emerged at this time to parody adherence to the status quo. It was certainly a unique time in our history and the start of a new era. Take a deep dive into the world of fifties art here.