Matisse and Fauvism were considered by 1950s scholars as precursors of Abstract Expressionism as well as of modern art. While resting at home due to appendicitis, Matisse’s mother brought him art supplies and he began painting. He set off for Paris in 1891 to pursue his dream. Matisse had an exhibit together with a group of artists known as the Fauves at the Salon d’Automne. The paintings disregarded the subject’s natural colours while expressing emotion with wild, dissonant colours. Though the Fauvist movement was short-lived, it shaped one of the directions of modern art and many Abstract Expressionists have been influenced by Matisse.

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter, art theorist, and educator. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of modern abstract painting. He had two experiences that would greatly influence his artistic style. An exhibition of paintings by Monet inspired Kandinsky’s use of colours, while an operatic performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin sparked a synesthetic experience. Kandinsky studied and taught art in Germany, but he integrated all the various art styles that he had employed in France. Painting was very spiritual to Kandinsky. He often utilised abstract forms and colours to convey his message. Modern abstract art will not be the same without the works of Wassily Kandinsky.

Andy Warhol was known for his silkscreen prints of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, his Coca-Cola and Campbell soup paintings. During his childhood, Warhol suffered from a neurological disorder. It was in these times spent at home that shaped his interests in celebrities and pop culture. This, combined with his expertise and experience as a commercial artist, was a great influence on his work. His work was shown in exhibits in several venues throughout the city and was easily recognisable and appealed to the general public. His success continued throughout the 1950s. He was unafraid to experiment with unconventional means and was, therefore, able to create unconventional art.

Jackson Pollock was an American artist and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement of the 20th century. At a young age, he was exposed to Native American culture and art. The greatest influences in his art, however, were Pablo Picasso and surrealism. He contributed several paintings to exhibitions of abstract art. Early on, Pollock’s style moved away from figurative representation. Instead, he created his art through unconventional means. As the 1940s drew to a close, Pollock came up with his signature technique of painting known as drip style. This style catapulted him to artistic superstar status. He and his works have permeated pop culture and even inspired computer-based research.