Tachism painting or Tachisme as it is sometimes known is derived from the French word, “Tache” which means stain. This is a form of abstract painting that gained popularity in the 1940s and 1950s. The first time that the term was used was in 1951 in reference to the movement. Critics surmised that the Tachisme painting movement was the European answer to Abstract Expressionism. But the two painting styles were not entirely similar because there were style differences when both were compared. The American Abstract Expressionism tends to be rawer in its representation as compared to Tachisme.
The basic aspect of this movement was that it disregarded geometric proportions and veered more towards a free-flowing form. This was part of a greater art movement which was known as Art Informel. This was similar to Action painting. After the Second World War, Tachisme was commonly referred to as the School of Paris, as the European equivalent of Abstract Expressionism. Some of the main and primary artists of this movement were Georges Mathieu, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Wols, Pierre Soulages, Nicholas de Stael, Hans Hartung and Serge Poliakoff.
If one were to descrive Tachisme in a single sentence, then the best way to put it would be ‘Tachisme is an art form which is inspired by cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brush-work, blobs of paint used directly from the tube and a scribbling which can be reminiscent of calligraphy.”