Abstract Expressionism was an American post-World War II art movement. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve worldwide influence and also the one that put New York City at the center of the art world, a role formerly filled by Paris. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_expressionism — retrieved 9/25/08)
Artists working in many different styles emphasized spontaneous personal expression in large paintings that are abstract or nonrepresentational. One type of Abstract Expressionism is called action painting. (www.arts-technology.com/art/collectors/artTerms.asp — retrieved 9/25/08)
ism often indicates a set of beliefs or way of behaving
ist often indicates a person with a set of beliefs or who behaves in a certain way
ic often converts a noun to an adjective
Note that suffixes offer a hint as to the meaning of a word. The hint wouldn’t work for a word like exist
The small, squarish basin might pass for abstract expressionism, Rob thinks, like Pollock or one of those guys, with the patterns of straight and curled hairs swirled under a chocolate glaze with threads of Nivea.