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Abstract expressionism, a post–World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York City in the 1940s. After the atrocities of World War II, many artists felt that the world needed to be reinvented.

Abstract Expressionist painters explored new ways of creating art, reinvigorating and reinventing the medium. They changed the nature of painting with their large, abstract canvases, energetic and gestural lines, and new artistic processes.

With these unconventional ways of painting, the Abstract Expressionists sought new forms of self-expression and personal freedom in their work.