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Jackson Pollock

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  • Commanding figure of the Abstract Expressionist movementBegan to study painting in 1929 under famous regionalist artist Thomas Hart BentonInfluenced by: Mexican muralist painters (Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros) Surrealism (jacksonpollock.com) Worked for the federal arts program, which gave artists work during the great depressionBy 1940s, painted completely abstract
  • Created his “Drip and Splash” style in 1947dripping and throwing paint onto large canvases which were laid on the studio floor and only cut once the work was completedThe intention was to avoid a focus for the work, to be part of it during creationPollock'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 deepenedAfter 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, 1950Oil 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 backgroundArmed with a can ofpaint in one hand and a stick or hardened brush in the other, he walked aroundand even onthe canvas, dripping and pouring paintPollock left a breathing space bordering all four sides of the field of paintHowever, in other paintings, the lines and spatters continue beyond the edges.According to MoMAwebiste, 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 paintingsShowed 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 beinghis unconsciouswhich was in turn connected to larger forces outside the selfNo. 31exemplifies this relationship between the self and the universeWhen asked to describe the relationship between his work and nature, Pollock stated emphatically, “I am nature.”

Transcript

  • 1. Jackson Pollock
    One No. 31
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  • 7. “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, 1947