Sep 21, 2014 -
"Energy and motion made visible - memories arrested in space." ~ Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock is probably one of my favorite abstract artists. In 1929, he studied under realist painter Thomas
Hart Benton. At various stages of his artistic journey, he was influenced by Benton's rhythmic use of paint and fierce independence, by muralist Diego Rivera, the Surrealist movement, the idea of 'psychic automatism' (direct expression
of the unconscious), and Native American sand painting.
In this artist's opinion, Pollock is as famous for introducing new techniques in abstract painting as he is for his actual
work (which, by the way, is amazing). Rather than fixing his canvas to an easel, most of his canvases were either set
on the floor, or laid out against a wall. From there, he allowed paint to drip and splash directly from the can. Instead
of the traditional paint brush, he added depth to his images using knives, trowels, or sticks. His technique combined
the movement of his body, over which he had control, the viscous flow of paint, the force of gravity, and the absorption of paint into the canvas. Flinging, dripping, pouring, and spattering, he moved energetically around the canvas, almost as if in a dance, and did not stop until he saw what he wanted to see.This form of painting had a direct relation to the artist's emotions, expression, and mood, and showcased the feeling behind the pieces he created. The risks and creative approaches he took, led future abstract artists to create with passion, as opposed to following set boundaries or guidelines, which have been laid out by the art world, and different forms of art.
One of Jackson Pollock's most famous works is a painting called Convergence, which was a collage of colors splattered on a canvas that created masterful shapes and lines evoking emotions and attacking the eye. Pollock's style of painting, as exemplified by Convergence, is an important, innovative development in the history of painting. At the time of the painting, the United States took very seriously the threat of Communism and the Cold War with Russia. Convergence was the embodiment of free speech and freedom of expression. Pollock threw mud in the face of convention and rebelled against the constraints of society's oppressions. It was everything that America stood for all rapped up in a messy, but deep package. Pollock's abstract work was difficult to decipher, but his rebellious nature and expressions of freedom were clearly evident.
I've only just begun to explore abstract painting myself, but I can definitely relate to the 'rebel' in Jackson Pollock!