Jackson Pollock 1912-1956

Jackson Pollock at work

Jackson Pollock at work

Jackson Pollock was a highly influential American painter known for his large drip paintings. These on the ground (often outside), by flicking, dripping and splattering fluid enamel paint with a large stiff brushes, sticks and whatever else took his fancy.

He was an abstract expressionist and action painter. The action painting label makes sense when you look at video footage of him at work – it’s a fast and very physical process in which he works on the canvas from all angles and different heights.

Pollock dived straight into these paintings without  preparatory studies or sketches. But there’s nothing random about them… the palettes are subtle with a careful use of accent colours and they are surprisingly balanced and harmonious.

He was influenced by Indian sand-paintings. Sometimes he would add sand, broken glass, string and all kinds of objects to his paintings.

Having had a go at a couple of drip paintings I’ve discovered that while it is easy (and fun) to splatter paint about but it is far from easy to achieve a harmonious and balanced impact.

Pollock died in a crash in 1956 aged 44.

For images please see my Jackson Pollock Pinterest Board
https://uk.pinterest.com/sarawaterer/abstract-expressionism-jackson-pollock/

References

Short extract from a 2014 documentary (You Tube) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrVE-WQBcYQ

MOMA – the painting techniques of Jackson Pollock
https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/moma/moma-abstract-expressionism/v/moma-painting-technique-pollock

 

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