In the 1940's, with most of Europe at war, Americans were left with the responsibility of developing art. Abstract Expressionism was the first movement to originate in the United States. During these times of apparent chaos, America met this challenge by developing their own movement, Abstract Expressionism.

Like other art movements, Abstract Expressionism consisted of many artists. Most artists during these times lived on the East Coast, mainly in and around New York.

During the 1930's, New York had been a camping ground for the Surrealist movement. By the time Jackson Pollock and the other Abstract Expressionists arrived, the New York area had become a haven for aspiring artists. They learned from each other's experience in the same way that the Parisian artists had learned from one another. One of the more noticeable figures of this movement was Jackson Pollock. He penetrated the group as one of the most talented painters, and he soon became a role model for others who were interested in abstract art.