Masterworks Monday: Jack the Dripper

9 May

A polarizing persona in the art world, Jackson Pollock, called “Jack the Dripper” by some, figured largely in the Abstract Expressionist movement in America.  His work  is such of the “love it” or “hate it” variety and it can often strike a chord with those who least expect it. 

Untitled, No. 3 by Jackson Pollock

I remember taking a basic Art Appreciation class early on in college, with a good friend from high school.  Said friend was very conservative in most aspects and usually preferred the more realistic artwork we studied– but she loved Pollock’s work.  There was just something about it that she responded to.

Untitled, No. 8 by Jackson Pollock

Pollock’s process, referred to as “action painting”, involved several aspects that were innovative at the time– Pollock laid his canvases unstretched out on the floor, instead of stretched on an easel, utilizing household paints instead of more traditional oils and instead of brushing the paint on, dipped whatever was on hand into the paint and then slashed  & dripped it onto the canvas.

Green Silver by Jackson Pollock

I remember being intrigued by Pollock and his work, but it wasn’t until I saw one of his pieces up close & personal, in an Abstract Expressionist exhibition at the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, that I truly became a fan.  Seeing the monumental scale of the work, the depth of the paint and being able to recognize that yes, there truly was a method to his madness in all those drips and splatters, sealed the deal for me.

Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock

I realize we don’t all share the same aesthetic tastes.  How about you?  Are you a fan of “the Dripper”?

4 Responses to “Masterworks Monday: Jack the Dripper”

  1. Shelley May 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I first time I saw a Jackson Pollack in person, we had just walked Central Park from the Plaza Hotel to the Metropolitan Museum (it’s a really long way). Insdie the met there was this nice long leather bench, right in from of the painting. I was so tired, I laid down for about 2 seconds and got yelled at by security. I’ll never forget it.

    • Lesley May 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Great story, Shelley! Those museum guards can be pretty vigilant. Especially at the Met. I usually feel guilty, even when I know I’m not doing anything wrong. :-/

  2. maribel May 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    i sometimes wonder if he had used different colors combos maybe i would like it better.

    an art historian once told me if you look closely at his paintings you’ll find roaches trapped in the paint. but i haven’t had the opportunity to see one of his pieces since i heard that. next time i will take a closer look.

    • Lesley May 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

      I’ve never heard that Maribel! Will definitely have to keep my eyes peeled the next time I see one in person. And you may be right about the color combos, I like some of his palettes, but they do tend to be a bit muted and monotone.

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