The Abstract Expressionists created the visual language of post-Cubism, through which they aimed to paint their subjects in a new way. The Second World War brought to the world the sense that human existence was in crisis; against this backdrop, many of these painters were particularly concerned with depicting human emotions.
Thus Rothko achieved "painting as emotion itself," so to speak. In contrast, Newman sought to transcend the material dimension of painting and express emotions on a metaphysical level. Meanwhile, Still saw each of his paintings as "an entry in a journal"; for him, painting was always "a life statement." What is more, these three leading Abstract Expressionists each hoped to adequately convey the emotions he expressed to the viewer in his own manner, which was closely connected to the nature of his paintings, as described above.
This paper therefore sheds light on aspects of emotional expression in Abstract Expressionist painting.