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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Tachisme (alternative spelling: Tachism, derived from the French word tache - stain) was a French style of abstract painting in the 1940s and 1950s. It is often considered to be the European equivalent to abstract expressionism. Other names for this movement are l'art informel (similar to action painting) and abstraction lyrique (related to American Lyrical Abstraction). The Cobra group artists are also related to Tachisme, as is Japan's Gutai group.

After the World War II the term School of Paris often referred to Tachisme, the European equivalent of American Abstract expressionism. Important proponents being Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages, Nicholas de Stael, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, and Georges Mathieu, among several others. See list of artists below.

According to Chilvers (see references below), the term tachisme "was first used in this sense in about 1951 (the French critics Charles Estienne and Pierre Guéguen have each been credited with coining it) and it was given wide currency by [French critic and painter] Michel Tapié in his book Un Art autre (1952)."

Tachisme was a reaction to cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brushwork, drips and blobs of paint straight from the tube, and sometimes scribbling reminiscent of calligraphy.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tachisme" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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