John Marin

John Marin was an early American modernist artist. He is known for his abstract landscapes and watercolors. John Marin was among the first American artists to make abstract paintings.Marin is often credited with influencing the Abstract Expressionists. His treatment of paint—handling oils almost like watercolors—his forays into abstraction, and his use of evocative stretches of bare canvas caught the eye of younger painters. His experience with architecture might have contributed to the role played by architectural themes in his paintings and watercolors.

Mark Tobey

Mark George Tobey was an American painter. His densely structured compositions, inspired by Asian calligraphy, resemble Abstract Expressionism, although the motives for his compositions differ philosophically from most Abstract Expressionist painters. His work was widely recognized throughout the United States and Europe. Along with Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, and William Cumming, Tobey was a founder of the Northwest School.

Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first recognised purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, where he graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat—Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30.

Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still was an American painter, and one of the leading figures in the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, who developed a new, powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II. Still has been credited with laying the groundwork for the movement, as his shift from representational to abstract painting occurred between 1938 and 1942, earlier than his colleagues like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, who continued to paint in figurative-surrealist styles well into the 1940s.

Jan Matulka

Jan Matulka was a Czech-American modern artist originally from Bohemia. Matulka's style ranged from Abstract Expressionism to landscapes, sometimes in the same day. Matulka was born on 7 November 1890 in Vlachovo Březí, Bohemia, then part of Austria–Hungary and now part of Czech Republic. In 1907 Jan, his parents Maria and John, and his five younger sisters moved to The Bronx. Soon after John separated from Jan's mother and left the family alone and with little money.

Lawren Harris

Lawren Stewart Harris, CC was a Canadian painter. He was born in Brantford, Ontario and is best known as a member the Group of Seven who pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style in the early twentieth century. A. Y. Jackson has been quoted as saying that Harris provided the stimulus for the Group of Seven. During the 1920s, Harris's works became more abstract and simplified, especially his stark landscapes of the Canadian north and Arctic.