To which artistic movement does the American painter Jackson Pollock belong?
Jackson Pollock, born in 1912 and died in 1956, was a renowned American artist, best known for his splatter painting technique. Pollock was one of the leading figures of Abstract Expressionism, an artistic movement that took off in the United States in the mid-twentieth century.
Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming, but grew up in California and Arizona. He received his art training at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles before moving to the Art Students League School of Art in New York, where he studied with Thomas Hart Benton.
Pollock’s work was influenced by artists such as Picasso and Orozco, as well as by Surrealism and Symbolism. He was also strongly inspired by psychoanalysis, notably the theories of Carl Jung.
Pollock is best known for his “dripping” technique, in which paint is splashed or dripped onto his canvases, often laid on the floor. This revolutionary approach enabled him to break free from the traditional limits of figurative art and explore new forms of expression.
One of his masterpieces, “Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)”, is a perfect example of this technique. This gigantic work captures the raw energy and complexity of form made possible by his innovative method.
Jackson Pollock’s personal life
In 1945, Pollock married Lee Krasner, herself a painter, who exerted a considerable influence on his life and career. Their marriage did not go smoothly, largely due to Pollock’s personal difficulties, but Krasner remained a key figure in promoting his work.
Pollock struggled to cope with his growing notoriety and battled with alcoholism for many years. These difficulties undoubtedly influenced his art, giving it emotional depth and complexity.
Jackson Pollock’s legacy
Pollock paved the way for many forms of artistic expression and inspired generations of artists to push back the boundaries of what was possible in painting.
Today, Pollock’s work is recognized for its contribution to the modernization of art, and is exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. Although he remains a controversial figure, his impact on contemporary art is undeniable.
Abstract Expressionism is an artistic movement that emerged in the 1940s and 1950s, mainly in New York. It is characterized by the absence of figuration and the total freedom of shapes and colors, favoring a pure, spontaneous expression of emotions.
The roots of Abstract Expressionism go back to European Expressionism and Surrealism. However, it was in the United States that the movement really took off, at a time when the country was beginning to play a major role on the world art scene.
The techniques used in Abstract Expressionism varied considerably, from Pollock’s dripping to Mark Rothko’s large monochrome surfaces. However, one constant remains: the absence of figurative representation.
Abstract Expressionism and Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock’s work is often considered the archetype of Abstract Expressionism. His “dripping” technique enabled him to channel his emotional energy directly onto the canvas, perfectly in line with the movement’s main objective.
The influence of Abstract Expressionism
Abstract Expressionism paved the way for other abstract art forms and influenced a host of later artistic movements, from Minimalism to Pop Art.
The New York School, an informal group of artists, musicians and poets, played an important role in promoting Abstract Expressionism. Artists like Willem de Kooning and places like New York’s Cedar Bar were epicenters where ideas and techniques were exchanged and developed.