Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock is known as one of the most famous American abstract artists. Born in 1912, he was the youngest of five children and raised in both Arizona and California. Art seemed to run in his family; his oldest brother moved to New York to study under painter Thomas Hart Benton when Jackson was in high school. Soon after, Jackson also moved to New York where he studies many different artists including muralist Jose Clemente Orozca and David Alfaro Siquieros. The large scale and experimental styles of these artists can be seen throughout Pollock’s work. By the early 1940s Pollock started participating in expositions, from which Peggy Guggenheim discovered him. She became is patron and financially supported him for the rest of his life. He did tragically in a car accident in 1956.

Pollock is best known for his abstract “drip” paintings, in which he dripped paint straight from cans onto the canvas. However, he started his career as a surrealist painter, as the style was popular at the time. He soon became a strictly abstract artist being “completely committed to the act of painting in itself, to the possibilities inherent in paint, and to the results of the interactions between himself and his medium.” He was known for his large-scale canvases and murals. Pollock is responsible for introducing a new style of abstract painting that had a large impact both in the United States and Europe.

Below I included a selection of his works that show his changes in style form the beginning of his career to the end. He early paints have more surrealist qualities with some figures and realistic qualities. He then moved into complete abstract paintings loosing all realistic qualities. Pollock still was using vibrant colors and started to experiment with drip paintings at this time. In the last few years of his career he stopped using colors and painted only in black and white. I have chosen three painting that represent the different stages of his career.

I find Pollock’s art very unique and interesting. I n his early work I really like the contrasting colors that he using and how he is able to tie every part of the painting together. I also found his abstract splatter paintings very interesting. They look so simple and like they were just made of random drops of paint, but every drop adds something new to the painting.


"Jackson Pollock - Artist Biography." Vincent Van Gogh Gallery - Welcome! Web. 10 Nov. 2010.

"Jackson Pollock Biography." Jackson Pollock Unauthorized. Web. 10 Nov. 2010.

Frank, Elizabeth. Jackson Pollock. New York: Abbeville, 1983. Print.

De Chassey, Eric, ed. American Art: 1908-1947, from Winslow Homer to Jackson Pollock. Paris: Reunion Des Musees Nationaux, 2002. Print.

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