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Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock is one of the leading figures of abstract expressionism, direction that was created in the 40s and 50s of the 20th century in the United States. Emotional, hot abstract expressionism evolved as an opposition to rational, cold geometric expressionism, connection of aimlessness , marks and simple forms (abstractionism) with the emotionality and subconscious (expressionism).

Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock, as the master of his genre, completely broke with the traditional image of the painter and his work. Pollock did not use the standard painting tools - brushes, spatulas, easels. He put canvas on the floor. As he said: "working on the ground is more comfortable. I feel closer to the image, I belong to it, because I can walk around it, work with every side of the image and literally be in the picture."

Pollock derive his inspiration from Indian’s art and mythology ("I'm not American, but the redskin"). He was interested in the symbols of life, sex and death, described by Freud and Jung.

Typical for Pollock (as well as for all other representatives of abstract expressionism) was the technique of dripping, the free dropping, dripping paint on a canvas placed horizontally or splashing paint with a paintbrush.

Pollock also used the technique of action painting. Gesture painting was supposed to give the painter a complete creative freedom, to allow to transfer dormant "nature" hidden in the human to canvas. It is the immediate spilling the paint and splashing it onto the canvas. Pollock used also paint in cans. He made a hole in the container and poured the content on the ground. Then blur the paint with the fingers, sticks, etc.

Pollock revolutionized not only the technique but also paintings composition. In his paintings there is not only any straight lines and any trace of geometry, but also there is a lack of the center of gravity (a strong point of the composition). The paint flows freely and splashes all over the plane of the painting, without creating any clear space division. This type of composition was called the all-over.

Pollock died in 1956, driving under the influence of alcohol. The year before famous actor James Dean had died in a similar way. Public opinion combined the two events, creating  around the painter the legend of tragic suicide. He was called James Dean of American painting.

Jackson Pollock's significant works:

  • "Male and Female", 1942
  • "Stenographic Figure", 1942
  • "Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle", 1943
  • "The guards on the street", 1943
  • "The She-Wolf", 1943
  • "The Key", 1946
  • "Shimmering substance", 1946
  • "The Tea Cup", 1946
  • "Cathedral”, 1947
  • "Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)", 1950
  • "Easter and the Totem", 1953