Day 11: Jackson Pollock

In keeping with the couple theme, I think I’m going to do artist couples for a while, starting with Jackson Pollock aka Jack The Dripper.

"I have no fear of changes, of destroying the image, because a painting has a life of its own; I try to let it live."

Pollock was first introduced to fluid paint and paint pouring in 1936 by David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Bald Woman with Skeleton), 1938-41

Pollock was inspired by Indian sand painting, which he was exposed to in the early 1940s. One could speculate that he was inspired by surrealist automatism, but Pollock was more of a Jungian person than a Freudian.

The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle (1943)

November of 1943 was Pollock’s first one man show at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery. Peggy would be a patron of his for years to come and even lent him the down payment for a home for Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner when they married in 1945.

Shimmering Substance, 1946 This reminds me a lot of De Kooning, he worked in his color palette a lot.

1947 to 1950 was Pollock’s most successful period, called his “drip period”.

Cathedral, 1947

Lavender Mist: Number 1, 1950. "...look passively and try to receive what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what they are to be looking for."

“[Pollock] used to give his pictures conventional titles… but now he simply numbers them. Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a picture for what it is – pure painting.” – Lee Krasner

However, just like his painting technique, when he saw a pattern emerging he was quick to deviate from it and abruptly, he abandoned dripping.

Black and White No. 6 1951

After this he started to do more figurative work, lines and curves start to assemble, he gained more commercial success. The pressure started to become overwhelming and colors in his pieces became more dark as he dove further into his alcoholism.

Blue Poles: Number II, 1952

Ocean Greyness 1953

Search (1955)

He did not paint anything in 1956 and March of that year is when he started his affair with Ruth Kligman (who was also a muse of De Kooning). “I remember the first painting I saw of yours about two years ago. It was all black and white, and I remember standing in front of it, and something happened to me. I felt the sensation of you, your energy came into my body…I was so moved by your work, your beauty, the mobility, the lyric quality, the torrent, the suffering, it’s all there… I felt your tears, I felt your heart breaking, I felt betrayal, and your violence and rage, and my heart was breaking with you.” she recounts in her book “Love Affair: A memoir of Jackson Pollock” (1974)

The affair would not last long. In August of the same year, while driving under the influence, Pollock was in a fatal car accident that ended not only his life, but Edith Metzger’s a friend of Ruth’s. Ruth was the only survivor.

In spite of the affair, Krasner managed her husband’s estate and worked hard to keep Pollock’s reputation strong.

I heard they made a movie about Pollock.

It looks extremely Hollywood but I’ve never seen it. If any of you have, let me know how they did.

The Pythia


Why dont you give Pollock’s technique a try


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