Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2019

Document Type

Capstone (Restricted Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Visual & Performing Arts; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Elizabeth Ferrell


Stereotypes, about masculinity, spontaneity, and individuality in abstract expressionism, which stemmed from gender discrimination in American society and workplaces during the 1940s and 1950s, have shaped the way that the movement is perceived and limited the number of artists who are included in its canon. It has become increasingly evident that the popular understanding of abstract expressionism as masculine and white male dominated needs to be revised. By analyzing the works of Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning, two female artists whose marginalization has been emphasised by their relationships to their famous abstract expressionist husbands, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, respectively, I furthered this goal by highlighting how their inclusion in the canon challenges two fundamental themes of the movement: the visualization of the self and action.