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Action Painting

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Jackson Pollock's pioneering "drip" technique provided the model for what Harold Rosenberg would term "Action Painting"--using the canvas as an arena for the emphatically physical, even balletic application of paint, and as a record of that engagement. Pollock also provided the credo for this approach: "When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It ...
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2008 Hardcover New 3775721037. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--Text in English. 204 pp. With 191 ills. (143 col., 2 foldout). 31 x 27 cm.

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Overview

Jackson Pollock's pioneering "drip" technique provided the model for what Harold Rosenberg would term "Action Painting"--using the canvas as an arena for the emphatically physical, even balletic application of paint, and as a record of that engagement. Pollock also provided the credo for this approach: "When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess."
Featuring works by 25 major representatives of this movement, Action Painting: Jackson Pollock and Gesture in Painting addresses the fundamental qualities of gestural abstraction from 1945 to 1965, assessing common traits as well as contrasts in practice between America and Europe (where it was known as Informel). Essays by acclaimed specialists, alongside introductions to each of the featured artists, make this volume a revealing presentation of one of the most important artistic movements in the twentieth century. Artists featured include: Karel Appel, Lynda Benglis, Norman Bluhm, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Hans Hartung, Eva Hesse, Hans Hofmann, Gerhard Hoehme, Asger Jorn, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Morris Louis, Joan Mitchell, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Jackson Pollock, Kazuo Shiraga, Pierre Soulages, Clyfford Still, Cy Twombly and Wols.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783775721035
  • Publisher: Hatje Cantz Verlag GmbH & Co KG
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword and Thanks Ernst Beyeler Beyeler, Ernst Sam Keller Keller, Sam Ulf Kuster Kuster, Ulf 8

Action Painting - Myth and Reality Ulf Kuster Kuster, Ulf 12

The Wrestling Match: Pollock and Picasso Pepe Karmel Karmel, Pepe 22

The Form of the Formless - Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel Gottfried Bochm Bochm, Gottfried 38

Catalogue Ulf Kuster Kuster, Ulf 47

Action Painting - Today Robert Fleck Fleck, Robert 178

The Fate of Gestural Abstraction in America: the Rejection of Solipsism Jason Edward Kaufman Kaufman, Jason Edward 186

Artists' Portraits 194

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    action painting and Jackson Pollack's place in the field

    Jackson Pollock is named in the title for being the primary model and pivotal artist in action painting. Action painting stands out as a type of painting in the post-World War II art movement 'concentrat[ing] above all on the true essence of painting' for exceptionally capturing the essentials of 'color, painterly gesture, and immediacy' which were the movement's ideals. Informed Art in Europe and Abstract Expressionism in the United States were major styles with associated characteristic techniques growing out of the movement. The Foreword by a trio of art critics/historians makes a point of the 'open rivalry between the two positions...from which the American side emerged 'victorious'.' Along with Pollock, the American artists Robert Motherwell, Cy Twobley, Helen Frankenthaler, and Clifford Still were internally recognized as top action-painting artists with commensurate demand for their paintings at top prices in auctions and galleries. Among among the European artists featured are Eva Hesse, Karol Appel, Wols, and Roberto Matta. Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky are found too among some of the artists of foreign birth who spent most of their careers in the U.S. Each of the 27 artists is introduced by a short paragraph of biographical and artistic information followed by four or so full-page color illustrations of representative art works. Pollock gets about 18 pages which include four double-page illustrations and a fold-out for a 4-page spread of his work 'Horizontal Composition.' Pollock's action painting originated in the mid 1940s when he first practiced his now-famed 'drip technique, which might perhaps better be described as 'pouring' or 'throwing'' paint on a canvas while staying with his wife at a friend's place on Long Island. It wasn't long before other artists started to imitate or use variations of this technique. Although Pollock's technique is commonly looked upon as radical and revolutionary, as Ulf Kuster notes in his essay. painting has always been an outcome of some action, or specific technique, by an artist. Kuster puts action painting in the context of the course and aims of modern art while also recognizing it as a specific area with its own techniques and ambitions. Other essays expand on topics and issues concerning what has been defined as action painting. One of these engages in a ranging comparison of Pollock and Picasso as two prime representatives of different avenues, sources, and expressions of modernist art. The enlightening essays take up at most one quarter of the book. The book will be appreciated mostly as a survey of the leading artists of action painting and their varied styles.

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