Also known as art informel, art autre translates as ‘art of another kind’ and was used to describe the dominant trend of abstract art in the 1940s and 1950s characterised by an improvisatory approach and highly gestural technique.

The term was used by the French critic Michel Tapié in his 1952 book Un Art Autre (Art of Another Kind). Tapié defined a tendency in postwar European painting that he saw as a radical break with all traditional notions of order and composition. In describing such work he used the term art informel (from the French ‘informe’, meaning unformed or formless).

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