Automatism is a method of creating art that deliberately ignores the effect of the working process on the final, visual outcome. Random techniques are used with no constructive intent to produce the piece in any one way. This was a method devised by the Surrealist group and it was a common phenomenon in the work seen by Abstract Expressionists.
It was also a common trademark technique of a group of very radically abstract Canadian artists that first exhibited in New York , Paris and Montréal in 1946. Two leading Canadian painters in this group were Paul Emile Borduas, who was so inspired by the French Surrealists that he began 'automatic 'painting in gouache paints and also Jean Paul Riopelle, who joined Borduas. Riopelle's early works were mostly lyrical abstracts, but in the 50's his work became much more intense, the surfaces of the canvas became more dense and heavy in nature, textured roughly. His sculptures are also characterized by heavy density and mass and a coarse, almost negligent finish. Both of these artists contributed a great deal to the Canadian art scene, relaxing the need from a strictly objective method of depiction in art.