Action Painting: Definition & Characteristics


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What is the difference between abstract and representational painting?

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1. The 1940s and 1950s saw the rise of a movement known as action painting, or Abstract Expressionism. What was one of the major reasons for the rise of this style of painting?

2. Which of the following was NOT an Abstract Expressionist painter?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

American action painting was an artistic movement that branched off from the abstract style. This quiz and worksheet combination will test your knowledge of this artistic movement.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

This quiz will test you on:

  • The work of Mark Rothko
  • Reasons for the rise of Abstract Expressionism
  • The differences between representational and abstract painting
  • Why action painting was thus named

Skills Practiced

Be prepared to practice the following study skills:

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related art lesson on action painting
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast topics from the lesson, such as representational and abstract painting
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding how Harold Rosenburg coined the term action painting
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to identify what type of painting style is represented in Mark Rothko's work Orange and Red on Red

Additional Learning

Further your knowledge by studying the accompanying lesson, Action Painting: Definition & Characteristics. This lesson will focus on the following objectives:

  • Define abstract and action painting
  • Identify characteristics not found in Abstract Expressionist paintings
  • Analyze examples of action painting
  • Understand the roots of this artistic movement