Pollock
256 pages
English

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256 pages
English
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Description

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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Date de parution 08 mai 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781780429731
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 102 Mo

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Pollock Veiling the Image
Donald Wigal
Text: Donald Wigal
Layout: Baseline Co Ltd 127129 A Nguyen Hue rd Fiditourist, 3 floor District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
© 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780429731
P ackson ollock JVeiling the Image
Donald Wigal
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The author acknowledges Ruth Kligman; Athos Zacharius; theArt Chronicles of the Smithsonian; Jerry Saltz,Village Voiceart critic; photographer Robin Holland; artists James Cullina ofArtSleuth,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 ofAmeringer/Yohe/Fine Art; Tina Dickey, editor of theHans HofmannCatalogue Raisonné; Maggie Seildon ofJason McCoy Gallery; Cheryl Orlick of theAlbrightKnox Art Gallery; Bradley D. Cook ofIndiana University Archives; Jennifer Ickes of theNew 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 ofParkstone 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 ofEntertainment Law Digest; also,Alternative Researchfor 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 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 and Notes
Index
7
9
17
105
183
217
248
249
254
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 AOTC Benton Guggenheim Krasner MoMA Pollock
Abstract Expressionism Art of This Century, Manhattan Thomas Hart Benton Peggy Guggenheim Lee Krasner Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan 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.
8
INTRODUCTION
worFk. However, much of his genius was expressed by how he veiled the visible while he unveiled the ifty years ago the artist Jackson Pollock died, but he lives on in his biographies and especially in his 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 hisThe SheWolfis 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).
“It is just a mat ter of time and work now for me to have that knowledge a part of me. A good sevent y years more and I’ll make a good artist.”(403) – Age 20
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.
9
10
“I’m just now get ting into painting again and the stuf f is really beginning to f low. Grand feeling when it happens.”(426) – Age 36
The floor of Jackson Pollock’s studio, The Spring, East Hampton, Long Island.1998.
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 that plates are often not in proportion to the actual size of the art works; small and large works might appear to be about equal in size on these printed pages. In one Pollock biography, for example, a reproduction of Picasso’sGuernicais onethird the height of Pollock’s Birth,reproduced on the facing page. However, the actual height of the Picasso work is three times the height of Pollock’sBirth. The chronology of main events presented here generally follows the order presented in dozens of published biographies, albeit other facts and especially the order in which Pollock’s works were actually completed might differ. Historical chronology here is often sacrificed for thematic development.
Titles of Paintings Asked about the numbered titles of Pollock paintings, Lee Krasner said Pollock’s focus was to have people appreciate the pure painting rather than to be distracted by the titles. In the August 1950New Yorker interview Pollock explained, “I decided to stop adding to the confusion…” caused by word titles. However, subsequent works were sometimes numbered, sometimes given word titles, sometimes both. The same work might be in different exhibitions under different titles. The alphabetical listing at the end of this work is primarily of the titles as in each exhibition, rather than to the paintings, although some consolidation has been attempted. For complete data see the fourvolumeCatalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Drawings and Other Works, edited by Francis V. O’Connor and Eugene V. Thaw, and published by Yale University Press (1978), with a supplement published by the PollockKrasner Foundation in 1995. Often the words in the titles of Pollock works have little, if anything, to do with the painting. For example, see the commentary below in the section on 1943 about the paintingMoby Dick. Gallery owner Betty Parsons added the letter A to some titles, indicating they were probably exhibited but not sold in 1948. However, they may also not have been painted in the year indicated in the title. Subsequent titles would include numbers, words, and combinations thereof, some with and some without dates included in the title. Moreover, neither numbers nor dates imply a chronological order. The titles are listed in chronological order by the years the paintings were done, if known, or the year named in the title. Included in titles presented here are the two sets in series,Sounds in the GrassandAccabonac Creek. Over fifty Pollock works are untitled, but some of those have a year in their title, while a year has been assigned to others.
Biographies Unlike formal biographies, this one occasionally refers to fictional or poetic works which allude to Pollock’s real life. However, it should be acknowledged that these fictional accounts are less reliable than authoritative biographies and at times they are admittedly outrageous. However, the most fanciful, such as the poem Jackson Pollockby Frank O’Hara, or the Bill Rabinovitch moviePollockSquared(2005), can get to truths rarely touched on by facts alone. Such fiction might, however, propose certain helpful links between known facts. This book attempts to distinguish known facts from the fictions with each reference, while acknowledging that sometimes fiction can be more insightful than facts alone. For the many actual biographical references consulted, a bibliography is presented as the first group of footnotes.
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