Art is the most intense mode of individualism the world has known ~ Oscar Wilde
Jackson Pollock is a tough cookie, my love for the complexity with which each canvas is webbed makes it intriguing to attempt an understanding of why he occupies such an important position in the transition of art. His canvases deceive you to believe that they are just dribbles of paint, easy to duplicate. But the sheer size and energy of the paintings make you feel small, it’s these two contradictory emotions that make him stand tall in the realms of American art.
In all fairness, it can be intimidating sometimes to stand before an artwork, trying to decipher what it’s all about. Take Jackson Pollock, for instance. I’ve had the most troubled time with his works, struggling to grasp onto something. When you see an image of his work for the first time it strikes you as a farce, someone trying to pass on splashes as an artwork, but the more you see the more it intrigues you – I say this from my own experience! A brilliant artist from the Abstract Expressionist movement of art, complete with the makings of one: intense love, alcoholism and a tragic end. Breaking away from the representational painting, he was a master of the action painting technique, where the physical act of attacking the canvas with colors defines the painting rather than the finished product. His contribution of rebellion and intuitive dripping of paint revolutionized American art and led to a different direction of painting and sculpture. More scope for rebellion always signifies a twist in the plot of upcoming art. Even if you decide to dismiss his art, you can never take away his role in the movement of art and shaping its future.
In the early 20th century, artists preferred to experiment beyond the conventional modes of the creating artworks with the mundane paint and brush. Using the drip painting, provided them with the opportunity to fling paint onto the canvas with sticks and syringes in a swift movement, resulting in a painting that was irreversible and could not be replicated. The idea of not planning or the final product and incorporating the element of time, chance and the subconscious made it a unique experience for the painter. This excitement drove them to crave the aggression that came along with action painting, not knowing what the result of their passion would turn out to be. In this, our very own Jack the Dripper was a genius!
So much about his style of painting. Signing off with a few images of Jackson Pollock’s work, and a video of him at work with a bit of details in their titles. Enjoy!
Displayed in Pollock’s first solo exhibition, this painting was the first of the artist to be acquired by the MoMA in New York.
It’s the second most expensive painting ever sold, clocking in $140 million in 2006.
The rhythms in Summertime reflect his belief that “The modern artist … is working and expressing an inner world – in other words expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces”. (Tate Modern)