Pollock
243 pages
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243 pages
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Born in 1912, in a small town in Wyoming, Jackson Pollock embodied the American dream as the country found itself confronted with the realities of a modern era replacing the fading nineteenth century. Pollock left home in search of fame and fortune in New York City. Thanks to the Federal Art Project he quickly won acclaim, and after the Second World War became the biggest art celebrity in America. For De Kooning, Pollock was the “icebreaker”. For Max Ernst and Masson, Pollock was a fellow member of the European Surrealist movement. And for Motherwell, Pollock was a legitimate candidate for the status of the Master of the American School. During the many upheavals in his life in Nez York in the 1950s and 60s, Pollock lost his bearings - success had simply come too fast and too easily. It was during this period that he turned to alcohol and disintegrated his marriage to Lee Krasner. His life ended like that of 50s film icon James Dean behind the wheel of his Oldsmobile, after a night of drinking.

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Publié par
Date de parution 15 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781783107483
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

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Text: Donald Wigal

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© Parkstone Press USA, New York.
© Confidential Concepts, worldwide, USA.
© Pollock Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA.
© Daros Collection, Switzerland / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA, p. 196
© Barnett Newman / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA, p. 132
© Mark Rothko / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA, p. 235
© Ruth Kligman, p. 246
© Willem de Kooning Estate / Artists Right Society, New York, USA p. 235
© Adolph Gottlieg Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York / ADAGP, Paris, p. 220
© Robert Motherwell Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York / ADAGP, Paris, p. 135
© Rudolph Burckard / Artists Rights Society, New York. ADAGP, Paris, pp. 242-244

All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyrights on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership.
Where this is the case we would appreciate notification.

ISBN: 978-1-78310-748-3
Donald Wigal



Jackson Pollock
Veiling the Image
Acknowledgement


The author acknowledges Ruth Kligman; Athos Zacharius; the Art Chronicles of the Smithsonian ; Jerry Saltz, Village Voice art critic; photographer Robin Holland; artists James Cullina of ArtSleuth , Bob Stanley, Kathy Segall, and Bill Rabinovitch; authors Carmel Reingold, James Robert Parish, George Sullivan, Susan Waggoner, and William Kuhns; agents Stephany Evans, Elaina Zucker, Robert Markel; Barlow Hartman and Mercedes Ruehl; James Yohe of Ameringer/Yohe/Fine Art ; Tina Dickey, editor of the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné ; Maggie Seildon of Jason McCoy Gallery ; Cheryl Orlick of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery ; Bradley D. Cook of Indiana University Archives ; Jennifer Ickes of the New Orleans Museum of Art ; Isabelle Dervaux, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Academy Museum ; Verity Hawson, Lillian Kiesler, Cornelia Sontag, Bérangère Mardelé, and Eliane de Sérésin of Parkstone Press ; for research support, Bro. Frank O’Donnell, Edie LaGuardia Hansen, Dr. Mark Cooper and Gene Carney; Vera Haldy for German translation; Herbert Verbesey and Gerard Sullivan for the Latin dedication; Antonio Bautista, Michael Morris; Cheryl Murray of Entertainment Law Digest ; also, Alternative Research for on-line research; Richart Taylor and his Jackson Pollock center at the University of Oregon.
Thanks to Catherine O’Reilly for her dedication, generosity, meticulous and expert editorial input on this and a dozen books over the past 25 years.
Dedication
I dedicate this work to these colleagues with whom I share a common bond. They generously made my work this past year possible: Tom Brenn, Paul Cibrowski, Joe Clark, Richard Csarny, Jim Cullina, Gene Carney, Jim DeVito, Joe Fagan, Bill Gannon, Brian Griffin, Bob Higdon, John Kane, Mel Kubander, Joe LaSala, Joe Manzo, Joe Maurer, Charlie Miller, Bob Moriarty, SM, Frank O’Donnell, SM, Andy Oravets, Frank Poliafico, Bob Schult, Bruce Segall, Rhett Segall, John Spellman, Brian Trick, Herb Verbesey, Joe Wessling, Ken White, and Jim Wolf. Gestas cum sociis res meminisse juvat. (It delights me to remember all the things we shared together).
— Donald Wigal
Manhattan, 2005
CONTENTS


Foreword
Introduction
The Myth of the Artist Cowboy
Struggling During the Early Years: Making Energy Visible
Brilliant Peak Years: Art as Self-Discovery
The Genius of His Gesture: Involving Art and Others in His Self-Destruction
Appendix
Bibliography
Selected Resources
Notes
INDEX
The writer has tried to be accurate in referencing. However, there are very likely errors here, especially in the chronological order of events, and the titles and dates of works. For the first two years or so after publication, corrections and updates may be available in English from donwigal@ix.netcom.com .
Abbreviations
AbEx
Abstract Expressionism
AOTC
Art of This Century, Manhattan
Benton
Thomas Hart Benton
Guggenheim
Peggy Guggenheim
Krasner
Lee Krasner
MoMA
Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan
Pollock
Jackson Pollock
Foreword


E ach of the four sections of this book refers to a span of at least ten years. Each subsection, usually covering one year, opens by noting historical events relative at least indirectly to Pollock, or offers some significant backdrop to his life. Events named within that year are not necessarily presented here in strict chronological order. This book should not be relied on for trying to create a strict chronology of details.
Although several interviews and over twenty biographies of Pollock were referred to while researching this work, when referring to ‘ Pollock ’ s biographers ’ without specific names, the reference is to the extensive work of Naifeh & Smith. Likewise, ‘ de Kooning ’ s biographers ’ always refer to Stevens & Swan. ‘ Peggy Guggenheim ’ s biographer ’ always refers to Mary V. Dearborn.
Untitled (Self-portrait) , 1931-1935.
Oil on gesso on canvas, mounted on fibreboard, 18.4 x 13.3 cm ,
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York .

“It is just a matter of time and work now for me to have that knowledge a part of me. A good seventy years more and I ’ ll make a good artist.” (403)
– Age 20


Introduction


Fifty years ago the artist Jackson Pollock died, but he lives on in his biographies and especially in his work. However, much of his genius was expressed by how he veiled the visible while he unveiled the invisible.
A survey of the main events of Pollock’s life might lift some of the veils from his troubled soul and his amazing work, as well as explain somewhat his turbulent times. However, this overview offers no definitive explanation for either Pollock’s behaviour or his genius. It is intended to offer an opportunity to stand before the man and his oeuvre and be perplexed by the negatives, in awe of the positives, and aware of the ambiguities.
However, it may be that by veiling himself and his art as he so uniquely did, Pollock paradoxically revealed much of his interior life, thereby making it possible to see and better understand therein something of his spiritual journey – if not also something of the universal human journey.
Many of the events of Pollock’s life and much of his radically new art proved to be mystical yet profane, ugly yet awesome. At times the artist, like his art, appears to be innocent, graceful and sensitive. At the same time his life and art might seem to be crude, macho and abrasive. The biographer Andrea Gabor observes him to be “brilliant and naïve, gentle and aggressive, vulnerable and destructive.” She observes, “Few artists… seemed to personify the masculine excesses of the era more completely than Jackson Pollock who came to represent an archetype of unbridled artistic vitality.” (427)
The cycles of Pollock’s life and art at times overlap, as they are sometimes seen as a child-man, angel-beast, and creator-destroyer. Many observers of his work are kept at a distance by what is ugly and yet pulled into what is beautiful in the realities of the artist’s rugged presence and his brilliant achievements. At the same time his private, self-destructive compulsions and isolation ironically drove him to his highly public end fifty years ago.
Several interesting sub-themes in Pollock’s life are not developed here, including his relationship with his brothers’ families, his love of dogs, and his fascination with old cars, and speeding. Rather, one purpose of this concise overview of Pollock’s life and this selection of reproductions of some of his works is to help put his works into an historical context.
However, what Pollock said of his The She-Wolf is surely true of his works in general:
“Any attempt on my part to say something about it, to attempt any explanation of the inexplicable, could only destroy it.”
Yet, some viewers probably need help in reaching that point where art is experienced simply as art, ideally with some knowledge of it as well.
Some fans of Pollock’s art in particular might prefer to know nothing of the artist’s turbulent life. The following biographical sketch is presented especially for those for whom such knowledge enhances viewing. There are also art lovers who find scientific analysis of art helpful, while other viewers do not. For the former, consideration could be given to Richard Taylor, the professor of physics at the University of Oregon. His crucial and amazing studies are of fractal expressionism and the so-called chaotic processes in the work of Pollock (107) .
Reproductions
For many readers the reproductions, no matter how elegant, are at best like postcards reminding them of the art itself, for which there is admittedly no perfect substitute. It was suggested the first two plates be represented in the actual size of the artwork, because those works are small.
However, it should be pointed out tha

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