The rebel hero of Abstract Expressionism, Jackson Pollock
(1912–1956) careened through his life like a firework across the American art landscape. Channeling ideas from sources as diverse as Picasso and Mexican surrealism
, he rejected convention to develop his own way of seeing, interpreting, and expressing
Pollock’s most famous works are his drip paintings
, where he dripped and poured household enamel paint over the canvas with a variety of instruments, from sticks to syringes, hardened brushes to broken bits of glass
. The splattered results pulsate with energy, replacing the refinement of easel and brush with something altogether more immediate, vivid, and physical
. To evade the viewer’s search for figurative elements in his paintings, Pollock abandoned titles and identified each work with a neutral number only
Notoriously reclusive and volatile, struggling with alcoholism, married to fellow Abstract Expressionist Lee Krasner, and killed in a car crash aged just 44, Pollock is as much a compelling celebrity icon as an artistic pioneer.
This essential artist introduction explores both his work and his fame to shed light on masterpieces of the modernist story
, and the making of a cultural icon.