Pop Art Day/ Jackson Pollock

PopArt day takes place annually on 28th January to commemorate the birth of the American Artist Jackson Pollock and inspire artists to create their own Pop Art. Paul Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming, in 28 January 1912, His parents. Stella and LeRoy Pollock were Presbyterian; and of Irish and Scots-Irish descent, respectively. LeRoy Pollock was a farmer and later a land surveyor for the government, moving for different jobs. Stella, proud of her family’s heritage as weavers, made and sold dresses as a teenager. In 1912, Stella took her sons to San Diego; Jackson was just 10 months old He subsequently grew up in Arizona and Chico, California. While living in Echo Park, California, he enrolled at Los Angeles’ Manual Arts High School, from which he was expelled. He had already been expelled in 1928 from another high school. During his early life, Pollock explored Native American culture while on surveying trips with his father. In 1930, following his older brother Charles Pollock, he moved to New York City, where they both studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League. In the early 1930s, Pollock spent a summer touring the Western United States together with Glen Rounds, a fellow art student, and Benton, their teacher.

Pollock was introduced to the use of liquid paint in 1936 at an experimental workshop in New York City by the Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. He later used paint pouring as one of several techniques on canvases of the early 1940s, such as Male and Female and Composition with Pouring I. After his move to Springs, he began painting with his canvases laid out on the studio floor and he developed what was later called his “drip” technique. Between 1938 and 1942 Pollock worked for the WPA Federal Art Project. Pollock became an Alcoholic and underwent Jungian psychotherapy with Dr. Joseph Henderson and later with Dr. Violet Staub de Laszlo in 1941–42. Henderson engaged him through his art, encouraging Pollock to make drawings. Jungian concepts and archetypes were expressed in his paintings. It is possible that Pollock might have had bipolar disorder (When I get depressed I find that drawing can have an uplifting effect, i think I would go mad without Autodesk Sketchbook, however I digress). In 1943 Pollock signed a gallery contract with Peggy Guggenheim in July 1943. He received the commission to create the 8-by-20-foot (2.4 by 6.1 m) Mural for the entry to her new townhouse. Pollock painted the work on canvas, rather than the wall, so that it would be portable. Pollock’s most famous paintings were made during the “drip period” between 1947 and 1950. He rocketed to fame following an August 8, 1949 four-page spread in Life magazine.

Then At the peak of his fame, Pollock abruptly abandoned the drip style. Pollock’s work after 1951 was darker in color, including a collection painted in black on unprimed canvases. These paintings have been referred to as his ‘Black pourings’ and show Pollock attempting to find a balance between abstraction and depictions of the figure. He later returned to using color and continued with figurative elements. Pollock also moved to the Sidney Janis Gallery, a more commercial gallery; the demand for his work from collectors was great. Unfortunately the extra pressure this put on him, plus personal frustration, worsened his alcoholism.

In 1942 Jackson met fellow artist Lee Krasner while they both exhibited at the McMillen Gallery. Krasner was unfamiliar, yet intrigued with Pollock’s work and went to his apartment, unannounced, to meet him following the gallery. In 1945 Pollock and Lee Krasner married and moved out of the city to the Springs area of East Hampton on the south shore of Long Island into a wood-frame house and barn at 830 Springs Fireplace Road which Pollock converted into a studio, where he perfected his big “drip” technique with which he would become permanently identified. Lee Krasner had an immense impact on Pollock’s art due to her extensive knowledge and training in modern art and techniques which influenced Pollack and helped her bring him up to date with what contemporary art should be and Pollock’s style became more organized and cosmopolitan.

Lee Krasner also introduced Pollock to many collectors, critics, and artists, including Herbert Matter. Jackson Pollock also influenced Lee Krasner’s, artwork and Krasner began to reproduce and reinterpret her husband’s chaotic “I Am Nature” paint splatters in her own work. In 1955, Pollock painted Scent and Search, his last two paintings. In 1956 he was making sculptures at Tony Smith’s home: constructions of wire, gauze, and plaster. Shaped by sand-casting, they have heavily textured surfaces similar to what Pollock often created in his paintings.

Sadly by 1956 Pollock and Krasner’s relationship began to crumble owing to Pollock’s continuing alcoholism and infidelity involving Ruth Kligman. Then tragically On August 11, 1956, Pollock died in a single-car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible while driving under the influence of alcohol. At the time Krasner was visiting friends in Europe and she abruptly returned on hearing the news One of the passengers, Edith Metzger, was also killed in the accident, which occurred less than a mile from Pollock’s home. The other passenger, Ruth Kligman, an artist and Pollock’s mistress, survived. Lee Krasner managed his estate For the rest of her life and ensured that Pollock’s reputation remained strong despite changing art world trends. The couple are buried in Green River Cemetery in Springs with a large boulder marking his grave and a smaller one marking hers.

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