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New York School

Mark Rothko
Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea, 1944
Oil on canvas
191.4 x 215.2 cm (75.4 x 84.7 in.)
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society(ARS), New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

The New York School emerged in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s and was associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. The term "New York School" is often used interchangeably with Abstract Expressionism since many of the artists associated with the movement were based in New York City.

The artists of the New York School were known for prioritizing personal expression and the process of creating art, over the final product. They often worked on large canvases, creating abstract and gestural paintings intended to evoke strong emotional responses in the viewer. Artists linked to the New York School include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Barnett Newman, among others. While the New York School is often associated with Abstract Expressionism, there is some overlap with other movements, such as Neo-Dada. For instance, some artists who are associated with the New York School, like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, were also linked to Neo-Dada.

The New York School's emphasis on spontaneity and individual expression paved the way for other movements such as Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Moreover, the New York School's rejection of traditional representation and embrace of abstraction challenged the dominant narrative of art history and opened up new possibilities for artists to experiment with form and content.

Related categories



Color Field Painting

Abstract Painting

Conceptual Art

Media Study

(Inspired by) Abstract Expressionism

American Abstract Expressionism



Freedom of Expression


Art of the 1940s

Art of the 1950s

Large Scale Painting

Gestural Abstraction

Art Schools

Art Schools in New York

Art Schools in the United States