Commanding figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement Began to study painting in 1929 under famous regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton Influenced by: Mexican muralist painters (Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros) Surrealism (jacksonpollock.com)
Worked for the federal arts program, which gave artists work during the great depression By 1940s, painted completely abstract
Created his “Drip and Splash” style in 1947 dripping and throwing paint onto large canvases which were laid on the studio floor and only cut once the work was completed The intention was to avoid a focus for the work, to be part of it during creation Pollock's most famous paintings were made during the "drip period" between 1947 and 1950
Pollock's work after 1951 was darker in color, including a collection painted in black on unprimed canvases. During this period Pollock had moved to a more commercial gallery and there was great demand from collectors for new paintings. In response to this pressure, along with personal frustration, his alcoholism deepened After struggling with alcoholism for his entire adult life, Pollock, on August 11, 1956 at 10:15pm, died in a single-car crash
One: Number 31, 1950 Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8' 10" x 17' 5 5/8” Its colors are sombre: black, blue, grey, brown and white on an off-white background Armed with a can of paint in one hand and a stick or hardened brush in the other, he walked around and even on the canvas, dripping and pouring paint Pollock left a breathing space bordering all four sides of the field of paint However, in other paintings, the lines and spatters continue beyond the edges. According to MoMA webiste, No. 31 has neither a single point of focus nor any obvious repetition or pattern, it sustains a sense of underlying order
Pollock showed what art could become with his 1947 drip paintings
Showed that art didn’t have to be conventional, and that the way a person created art didn’t have to be conventional either.
Influenced by the Surrealist strategy of automatism believed his free and yet controlled application of paint had a connection to his inner being his unconscious which was in turn connected to larger forces outside the self
No. 31 exemplifies this relationship between the self and the universe
When asked to describe the relationship between his work and nature, Pollock stated emphatically, “I am nature.”
One No. 31
“On the floor I am more at ease, I
feel nearer, more a part of the
painting, since this way I can walk
around in it, work from the four
sides and be literally `in' the
painting.” -- Jackson Pollock,
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