Definition of tachism in US English:


(also tachisme)


  • A style of painting adopted by some French artists from the 1940s, involving the use of dabs or splotches of color, similar in aims to abstract expressionism.

    • ‘This approach has its origins in tachisme and the whole ‘objectless’ art of the post-war period, a tradition to which Nitsch has always been committed.’
    • ‘Automatic art, tachism, and abstract expressionism are terms loosely associated with the idea that one can express something of one's psychic life, something that lies under, above or beyond conscious life, by working in a dreamlike or trancelike state.’
    • ‘Have a look at works of leading contemporary artists in the areas of constructivism, tachism and lyrical abstractivism in Amsterdam.’
    • ‘While in Paris during the early nineteen-fifties, McEwen encountered Abstract Expressionism, which introduced him to tachisme and colour-field painting.’
    • ‘Offset by an austere and dark metallic background, the paintings evolve from attempted tachism to somber expressionism and, at the end of the artist's short life, toward more transparent and more meticulously painted creations.’


1950s: from French tachisme, from tache ‘a stain’.