Was Jackson Pollock the greatest living abstract painter in the 1940’s ? Post war America was growth period for the the arts and music. Europe had Surrealism, a heady mix of the unconscious mind committing words to paper, or paint to canvas. Techniques of applying paint to a surface had been refined but largely unchanged for a few hundred years. Pollock, in the age of jazz, developed a style of his own, born out of the poverties and the materials of his time, and his internal struggle.
Jackson Pollack developed a dripping, abstract style using household and auto-motive enamel paints, for which he has become famous and much copied. Dripping paint was not a entirely new concept, but perhaps new modern paints he was using and the whole in-your-faceness of his technique took it to another level.
In interviews of the time, Jackson Pollock comes across as scripted and un-spontainaeous although his artwork was nothing but a riot of a spontaneity. His artworks was a pure expression of self, never seen before.
Was Jackson Pollock a leader in his time ? For sure, his works show an “all over” approach, his paintings have no fixed point of reference, forcing the viewers eye to travel from canvas edge to edge and delight in the visual field.
I guess what I admire about his works is the complete overhaul of form and technique. Paintings were carried out with the canvas on the floor, paint was dripped from sticks/hardened brushes, spat from turkey basters, thrown on the canvas with rage or a delicate precision. Either way its passion, its love, its necessity…..
More about Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock @ Guggenheim Foundation
Jackson Pollock @ MoMA
Jackson Pollock @ WikipediaPrevious post: How to live like an artist.Next post: My studio