Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Art Wednesday: Jackson Pollock

Carlos and I watched Who The #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? which is the story of a woman, Teri Horton, who bought an old painting in a second-hand store for a couple of bucks and then learned it was an original Jackson pollack, worth up to $20 million.

Of course, she faced enormous difficulty in trying to prove it was a Pollack. The art community, read: snobs, don't believe that a Pollack could ever be sold at a second hand store, though that has happened before. The paint on the canvas was proven to come from Pollack's studio, and it even has Jackson Pollack's fingerprint on it.

But still, the naysayers say nay.

So, that brought me to Jackson Pollack for Art Wednesday because he was a master and a genius and a first.

He began to study painting in 1929 at the Art Students' League, New York, and by the 1930s, was influenced by the Mexican muralist painters--Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros. It was, however, in the 1940s when he began painting in a completely abstract manner, and the `drip and splash' style for which he is best known emerged.

Instead of using the traditional easel he affixed his canvas to the floor or the wall and poured and dripped his paint from a can; instead of using brushes he manipulated it with, to use his own words, 'sticks, trowels or knives.'

Pollock's is mostly associated with the All-over style of painting which avoids any points of emphasis or identifiable parts within the whole canvas and therefore abandons the traditional idea of composition in terms of relations among parts. The design of his painting had no relation to the shape or size of the canvas--indeed in the finished work the canvas was sometimes docked or trimmed to suit the image. And that is what is believed to be the painting that Teri Horton found in the second-hand store--a cut off section of another painting.
On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and be literally `in' the painting.--Jackson Pollack
"Tea Cup"

"Fathom Five"

"Lavender Mist"

"Number 8"



  1. Interesting! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous4:54 PM

    This was a great documentary. Loved it!

  3. Bob, I am wondering if you have seen the Ed Harris film about Pollock? Excellent film which takes place in the latter part of his life. Good post.

  4. He is one of my favorites, and I love seeing his paintings in the Chicago Art Institute. I agree with Jade's comment--I loved "Pollock."

  5. Why is pollock famous? I often wonder what the genius is that people see in his paintings. Not to be a negative nancy as far as the artist goes but I just don't get the art. It looks like a bunch of emotionless paint splatter


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