Expression. Passion. Creation. These three words can be used to define an artist. Essential to art's core, the three have shaped each and every art movement, spanning centuries and continents. Art is art, to the grand banquets of vivid detail; the senses can still be enlightened by even the smallest of canvases, fully abstract or just spare for the eyes to see.

Developing post World War II, abstract expressionism and minimalism pieces are genuine American masterworks – imbued with expression, passion and creation. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles looks at these two movements with Postwar Directions: Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism , a 55 piece exhibition of various media from artists influenced by Robert Rauschenberg, who helped reinvent American art in the 1950s and 60s.

Postwar Directions draws from MOCA's permanent collection of 80 abstract expressionism and pop art pieces giving patrons the opportunity to look at both movements, to examine the influences and inner workings that bind the two, (i.e. color field and minimalism, which assimilate the works of such art luminaries as Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol).

The exhibit presents a history of the two movements, starting with the early beginnings of postwar art, looking at late surrealism and ending up with abstract. A highlight is Pollock's seminal piece No. 1 , as well as the pop art of Warhol and Lichtenstein, who bring simplicity through everyday images of Americana. All three display different scope and design, and continue to inspire the artists of today.  

MOCA is located at 250 S. Grand Ave., in Los Angeles. Hours: Mon & Fri 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat & Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $8; $5 for students with ID; Free on Thurs from 5-8 p.m. For more information, call (213) 626-6222 or visit www.moca.org.