This was the title given to a major exhibition of American painting organized by Clement Greenberg at the County Museum of Art, Los Angeles in 1964. The use of the phrase 'painterly' derived from Heinrich Wolfflin's 'malerisch', and was used by Greenberg in relation to a group of artists who broke away from abstract-expressionism.
Resisting the gestural brushwork of that style, these 'New Abstractionists" compositions are rationally planned and executed in unmodulated areas of color, eschewing illusionism and relief surfaces.
C Greenberg, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Los Angeles County Museum of Art exh. cat. (Los Angeles, 1964)