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Art Stroll: Jackson Pollock – A Collection Survey at MoMA

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Art Stroll

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A couple months ago I went to MoMA and saw this wonderful exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s work tracking his artistic development from the 1930s, when he made loosely figurative images , to the early 1950s, when he pioneered the radical abstractions for which he is best known by pouring and dripping paint onto canvas or paper. It was a wonderful exhibition and I loved seeing the evolution but also getting an insight of how he took certain things further and further and how some of his early elements morphed into something more abstract or vanished in the end.

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Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Sheet of Studies), c. 1939-42, Black colored pencil on paper

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Jackson Pollock, Mask, 1941, oil on canvas

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Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Animals and Figures, 1942, Gouache and ink on paper

Drawing was an independent medium for Pollock – so his sheets were never studies for paintings. Yet you can see similarities to his paintings – like in the one below – The She Wolf . Vibrantly colored lines that are laid on top. Fusing two different layers was a strategy Pollock would continue to develop over the next several years.

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Jackson Pollock, The She-Wolf, 1943, oil, casein and gouache on canvas

He began covering the canvas with a layer of multicolored splatters, washes and drips and then superimposed the black outline of the wolf, whose head faces left. Finally he added thick white lines to highlight her shape and dense areas of gray-blue at the edges to bring further relief.

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Jackson Pollock, Stenographic Figure, ca 1942, oil on linen

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Screen prints 1943-1944 – Pollock experimented with screen printing in this time and worked briefly at a commercial silkscreen workshop in 1943. These screen prints above predate his first abstract “drip” paintings at least 2 years. Apparently Pollock and his wife artist Lee Krasner used those screen prints as greeting cards!

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Painting, ca. 1944, Gouache on plywood

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Full Fathom Five, 1947, oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarettes, matches, etc.

This is one of Pollock’s first “drip” paintings. While its top layers consist of poured lines of black and shiny silver house paint, a large part of the paint’s crust was applied by brush and palette knife.

The nails, tacks, buttons etc. are all encrusted in the paint and add to the texture.

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Untitled, c. 1944-45, engraving and drypoint

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Gothic, 1944, oil on canvas

Pollock told a critic that this composition was based on Pablo Picasso’s 1907 masterpiece, Le Demoiselles d’Avignon. Just a whisper of this inspiration piece, yet …if you know it you can see it …and still it is something totally new and Pollock!

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Number 1A, 1948, oil and enamel paint on canvas

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I love how you can see his fingers on the left – the hand of the artist- it makes you look for these things in all of his drip paintings.

 

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One: Number 31, 1950, Oil and enamel paint on canvas

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Untitled, c. 1950, ink on paper

this makes me want to fling some ink 🙂

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White Light, 1954, Oil, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas

This is one of Pollock’s last paintings and the only one he completed in 1954- he squeezed paint directly from a tube on the canvas – also used a brush to create subtle marbling effects by manipulating wet paint in certain areas.

It was so inspiring and wonderful – the texture and the vibrancy of the colors – and of course – do not forget the scale.

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll – until the next one.

 

Nat

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This post currently has 3 comments.

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  • stephanie

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    great images to see his early work

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  • Joi @RR

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    Such incredible texture…. loved seeing these Nat. Thank you.X j.

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  • Sue Clarke

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    One of my favorite art pieces that my son has made is a Pollack-like painting that he did in elementary school. Delightful texture.

    Reply

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Artist Quote of the Week – Donald Judd

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Artist Quotes / Artist Inspiration

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Scenes from the n*Studio

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Studio Stroll

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I cannot share everything I have been doing last month but I thought I share a little peek into my studio 🙂

Top Row: Hamburg Harbour Painting, Texture Play, Painting of my Uncle Walter

Middle: Working on two new paintings, working on a fast forward Creative Ice Breaker Video

Bottom Row: Cleaned brushes after a day in the studio, Art Bars and Neo Color II explosion


Also …this is coming up soon – in case you want to join us 🙂

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My part of the class is up first in the morning:

Nathalie Kalbach: Art Journaling In Depth

Learn how to add interest and an important spark to your art journal with textures and layers. Nathalie Kalbach shows how to create visual and actual texture using paint, gesso, and tools, plus techniques such as sgraffito and collage layering. Texture and layers are important design elements that are easy to produce, and they can communicate a variety of messages, emotions, thoughts, and perspectives. Let Nathalie show you how to go in depth!

Sign up here

It was so much fun last year and my co-teachers are amazing – you will love it. It is a jam packed Art Journaling workshop day! I hope to see you in Arlington Texas.

Have a gorgeous day my sweet friends!

Nat

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  • Joi @RR

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    YEAH – you are coming to Texas Nat. Wish I could be there for your class! You are only about 6 hours from me!!! HAVE FUN! I know they will all love you to pieces. Xj.

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