Abstraction Lyrique
Post-War Abstract Expressionism in Europe
10th Sept - 8th Oct

We are pleased to present a selection of major works by leading exponents of the post-war Abstraction Lyrique movement in Europe.


Also referred to as Tachisme, Abstraction Lyrique was equivalent to Abstract Expressionism in America, and evolved from the Surrealist's experiments such as "automatic writing" exploring the concept of the artist's impulsive mark as an expression of the sub-concious. The establishment of the Abstraction Lyrique movement is usually regarded to be the ground-breaking "L'Imaginaire" exhibition at the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris 1947 organised by Pierre Mathieu and Camille Bryen.  Whilst the European and American movements emerged almost simultaneously, there is sometimes a subtle distinction between the two and is best defined by Marcel Brion’s description of the European approach as “Abstract Impressionism”, for the European style was not purely gestural manifestation of inner emotion, it was more often an evocation of exterior sensation, such as a place or piece of music. This exhibition explores the artists different approaches to this historic movement.


“Painting is the profound expression of life. Far from being solely a sensorial experience, it is able to become a magical phenomenon through the ambivalences of the physical and psychical personality”. Camille Bryen, 1956.