artist

Jackson Pollock

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The August 8th, 1949 edition of Life magazine ran a feature article on Jackson Pollock that bore the question in the headline, “Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” Could a painter who flung paint at canvases with a stick, who poured and hurled it to create roiling vortexes of color and line, possibly be considered “great” (let alone “the greatest”)? Critics of his time (and ours) certainly thought so, and Pollock’s pre-eminence among the Abstract Expressionists has endured, cemented by the legend of his alcoholism and his early death. The famous “drip paintings” that he began to produce in the late 1940s represent one of the most original bodies of work of the century. At times they could suggest the life-force in nature itself, at others they could evoke man’s entrapment—in the body, in the anxious mind, and in the newly frightening modern world. (The Art Story)

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