Jackson Pollock

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Overview

How did Jackson Pollock become a cult figure for the Beat Generation? And what caused his reputation to continue to soar? This compelling and original Abrams classic, now back in print, locates the artist in the continuum of his times, recreating the social and cultural milieu of New York in the 1940s and 1950s. With extensive knowledge of Pollock’s habits (much of it gained through interviews), his reading, his conversation, and the exhibitions he visited, the author retraces many of the far-flung sources of ...

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Overview

How did Jackson Pollock become a cult figure for the Beat Generation? And what caused his reputation to continue to soar? This compelling and original Abrams classic, now back in print, locates the artist in the continuum of his times, recreating the social and cultural milieu of New York in the 1940s and 1950s. With extensive knowledge of Pollock’s habits (much of it gained through interviews), his reading, his conversation, and the exhibitions he visited, the author retraces many of the far-flung sources of Pollock’s work. A wealth of comparative photographs that illustrate paintings by artists Pollock admired further explains the work of this complex, tragic, and immeasurably influential figure. Pollock’s big, bold canvases are reproduced in five colors to convey the brilliance of his network of tones, his aluminum paint, and his sparkling collage materials. Six gatefolds show his vast horizontal works without distortion and a chronology provides a summary of the major events of Pollock’s life.

270 illustrations, 105 in full color, 6 gatefolds, 286 pages, 11-3/4 x 10"

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Jackson Pollock was always well suited to being an American icon. He was brash, unrefined, driven, and self-destructive, all the qualities that fit our cultural stereotype of the artistic genius. Art historian Ellen G. Landau arrives at theories relating to the artist's process and achievement through analyzing the cultural, social, and political milieu in pre- and postwar America within which Pollock worked. Nearly 300 excellent reproductions of Pollock's work, including six gatefolds.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a remarkably fresh look at Pollock's life (1912-1956) and work, Landau presents this driven artist as a Promethean rebel who exemplified the American traits of brashness, persistence and outward lack of sophistication, combined with inner primitivism and unbridled daring. An intensely self-conscious youth from Cody, Wyo., Pollock went to New York where mentor Thomas Hart Benton taught him rhythmical composition. The symbol-laden drawings Pollock brought to his Jungian therapist pointed him on a quest of psychic regeneration. His friend John Graham, a Polish-born modernist artist, exposed him to the occult, yoga and African, Oceanic and Egyptian art. He drew mental energy from strong-willed painter Lee Krasner, who became his wife. Landau, art history professor at Case Western Reserve University, unearths new material and re-evaluates the old in this stunningly illustrated, engrossing biographical-critical study. (Nov.)
Library Journal
The role of art historian as biographer is beset with contradictions, an artist's life and art being neither mutually exclusive nor synonymous. Balanced in his life on the edge of destruction and in his art on that of innovation, Pollock mirrored a chaotic world, one in which humans seemed to have lost control. Less gossipy than Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith's Jackson Pollock ( LJ 8/89), this book treats Pollock's personal life, creative work, and cultural milieu as discrete elements that produce a gradually developing image, not always in accord with the public's view of Pollock as rebellious cowboy or counterculture loner. Pollock was the major force behind the transfer of avant-garde art from France to the United States and the American idiom in which it was expressed. This ``American Prometheus'' is well served by this elegantly illustrated, carefully annotated, and well-written work. Recommended for all art libraries and large general collections.-- Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810984967
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 283
  • Sales rank: 469,678
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen G. Landau is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, where she has taught since 1982. She is also the author of Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Reaisonne, Reading Abstract Expressionism, and Artists for Victory, as well as many articles on twentieth-century American art.

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