Introduction

Art Informel, also known as Art Informel, was a significant art movement that emerged in Europe in the mid-20th century. Characterized by its emphasis on spontaneity, intuition, and the rejection of traditional artistic conventions, Art Informel represented a departure from the formalistic approaches that had dominated the art world until that point. This movement sought to liberate the artist from rigid structures and invite subjective interpretations of art. Here are five key things to know about Art Informel.

1. A Reaction to the Aftermath of World War II

Art Informel emerged in Europe in the aftermath of World War II as a response to the horrors and devastation of the conflict. Artists felt the need to break away from the established artistic practices, which they saw as outdated and incapable of adequately expressing the chaos and trauma of the post-war environment. Art Informel artists sought to capture the sense of anxiety, uncertainty, and existential angst prevalent in the wake of the war. They sought to give voice to the inner turmoil and raw emotions through their work.

Art Informel artists employed various techniques to convey this emotional intensity. They embraced spontaneous, gestural brushwork, utilizing bold and energetic brushstrokes. They also experimented with texture, incorporating unconventional materials and methods to create tactile and expressive surfaces. The resulting artworks often featured abstract forms, undefined shapes, and a sense of disorganization, reflecting the chaotic nature of the time.

2. Influenced by Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism

Art Informel was heavily influenced by two prominent art movements of the time: Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. Surrealism emphasized the importance of the subconscious and dreams as sources of artistic inspiration. This emphasis on the irrational and the automatic resonated with Art Informel artists, who sought to tap into their own subconscious minds to create works that conveyed their innermost thoughts and emotions.

Abstract Expressionism, with its focus on gestural brushwork and the artist’s emotional state, also played a significant role in shaping Art Informel. Artists associated with Art Informel admired the freedom and spontaneity of the Abstract Expressionists’ approach, which provided them with a model to break away from traditional forms and techniques.

Art Informel artists drew inspiration from the works of Surrealists such as Joan Miró and Max Ernst, as well as Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. They synthesized these influences, creating a unique artistic language that blended elements of both movements while pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

Useful Links:

https://www.theartstory.org/movements/art-informel/
https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/art-informel