Expressionism as a painting style falls between realism and abstraction. In fact, many different works can be described as expressionist; they occupy a continuum from recognizable, but exaggerated, depictions of scenes or figures to nearly abstract forms. What defines them is the attempt to use the techniques of painting to capture not what the observed world looks like, but the emotional or intellectual response it evokes in the artist.
As series host Robert Tharsing explains, Expressionists use realism in an expressive way; they balance representation of nature with the means of presenting it on canvas. In Program 2 of Looking at Painting, he explores that idea in visits with five Kentucky artists working in subject matter that ranges from still life to family life to landscape to heroic figure form. What they have in common is that they use realism as a means of expressing emotion:
Patrick Adams, Nicholasville
Mark Priest, Louisville
Guinever Smith, Louisville
Karen Spears, Lexington
Ann Tower, Lexington
The Expressionism Wing of our online gallery includes works by these painters, as well as representative paintings by several other contemporary artists.
Looking at Painting is available on home video from KET. Call (800) 945-9167 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information.