No Fear o' Eras

Abstract Expressionism

The idea behind No Fear o' Eras is to discover what makes up the style of certain artistic eras. Explore the three examples below to see if you can find what makes them all fit into this era.

If this is your first time doing No Fear o' Eras, read the instructions.

The Paintings

Four Square
Franz Kline
American, 1910 - 1962

Number 1, 1950
(Lavender Mist)

Jackson Pollock
American, 1912 - 1956

The Name II
Barnett Newman
American, 1905 - 1970


  1. What kinds of things are the subjects of these paintings?
  2. What's the real subject of these paintings?
  3. Why would a gifted artist want to skip painting people, places, and things?
  4. Which elements of design stand out the most?
  5. How much skill would it take to create paintings like these?

Would you like to read general questions for looking at art?

Internet Resources

More about the style & artists

Abstract Expressionism
Public Broadcasting Service site on Abstract Expressionism
About Lavender Mist

Sampling more examples

Background on Jackson Pollock from the WebMuseum
Mark Rothko exhibit at the National Gallery in D.C.
Web feature on Jackson Pollock at the National Gallery in D.C.
Grandfathers and Influences from

Historical or cultural issues

Rebels: Painters and Poets of the 50s
What is Zen?
Bebop and Cool jazz are related to expressionism

Current versions

The Golden Age of Abstraction: Right Now
Pinterest: Contemporary Abstract Art

Coming to an Opinion

Now that you have studied the three paintings by looking, questioning, and exploring related Internet resources, it's time to show what you've discovered. Fill in the fields below, then click the "I Fear No Eras" button to post your page. Print out, present, and discuss your ideas with other art historians.

    Your name:

    What are the Three main things artworks of this era have in common?
    (Would you like some tips or to see the feedback rubric?)


First Posted December 1995
Last revised February, 2014
Created by Tom March, tom at ozline dot com