Artibus et Historiae no. 14 (VII)

1986, ISSN 0391-9064

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ALICJA KĘPIŃSKA - Chaos as a Value in the Mythological Background of Action Painting

The semantic background of Action Painting continues to be the subject of intense research. In my opinion the meaning of Action Painting developed from the artist's fascination with ancient myths, primitive art viewed as a "residue of myth" and trends in contemporary philosophy of culture that deal with myths and their content and that stipulate their latent presence in the mind of contemporary man. In light of the structural motives of mythology used by artists, their paintings have a common denominator: the dialectic struggle and union of contradictions in the cosmic model of the cycle of life and death, formation and decay. Chaos and Cosmos interplay continually in paintings as well as in myths. The artists evoked a layer beyond the present leading to the rediscovery of the neglected sources of man's heritage. This change in spiritual perspective reflects renewal of art in a broad anthropological, philosophical perspective.

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