Abstract Impressionism

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Paul Jackson Pollock

Paul Jackson Pollock was born on January 28th, 1912 in Cody, Wyoming United States of the America as the youngest of five sons of Stella May McClure and LeRoy Pollock. He grew up in Tingley in Iowa. He was known as abstract expressionist and began era of abstract impressionism.

Paul Jackson Pollock studied art at Los Angeles' Manual Arts High School, from which he was expelled. With his brother Charles Pollock, he moved to New York City where they studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League of New York. From 1938 to 1942 Pollock worked for the WPA Federal Art Project. That led to the appearance of many Jungian concepts in his paintings.

In October 1945, Pollock married American painter Lee Krasner. In November they moved to what is now known as the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio sponsored by his patron Peggy Guggenheim. He began painting with his canvases laid out on the studio floor, and he developed what was later called his "drip" technique, turning to synthetic resin-based paints called alkyd enamels. He used hardened brushes, sticks, and basting syringes and other stuff for paint application. Pollock's technique of pouring and dripping paint is thought to be one of the origins of the term action painting. He also moved away from the use of only the hand and wrist since he used his whole body to paint. He would move energetically around the canvas, and would not stop until he saw that abstract painting had been finished.

"My painting does not come from the easel. I prefer to tack the unstretched canvas to the hard wall or the floor. I need

the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting. I continue to get further away from the usual painter's tools such as easel, palette, brushes, etc. I prefer sticks, trowels, knives and dripping fluid paint or a heavy impasto with sand, broken glass or other foreign matter added."

"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. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because 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. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well." —Jackson Pollock, My Painting, 1956

Some of Pollock's works display the properties of mathematical fractals. Pollock's most famous paintings were made between 1947 and 1950. Life magazine even asked "Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?" Pollock's work after 1951 was darker in color, then he returned to lighter color, and figurative elements.

"[he] used to give his pictures conventional titles... but now he simply numbers them. Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a picture for what it is—pure painting." — Pollock's wife, Lee Krasner

"Look passively and try to receive what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what they are to be looking for." —Jackson Pollock

His abstract painting Number 11, (Blue Poles), was purchased by the Australian Whitlam Government for the National Gallery of Australia

for $ 2 000 000. At this time, this was the highest price ever paid for a modern painting. And painting Number 5, became in November 2006 the world's most expensive painting, when it was sold to an undisclosed buyer for the sum of $140 000 000.

His painting was described as: "Best painting of its day and the culmination of the Western tradition going back via Cubism and Cézanne to Manet.", "Mere unorganized explosions of random energy and therefore meaningless.", "Weapon of the Cold War"

Pollock died on August 11, 1956 only at age 44 in a single-car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible less than a mile from Pollock's home while driving. Jackson Pollock's and his wife graves are in the Green River Cemetery.

Paul Jackson Pollock was given a memorial retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City in 1956, and a then again in 1967. In1998 and 1999 his work was honored with large-scale retrospective exhibitions at MoMA and at The Tate in London.

In 2000, Pollock was the subject of an Academy Award–winning film Pollock directed by and starring Ed Harris. And in 2006 a documentary, "Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?" About truck driver who in 1992 bought an abstract painting for the price of five dollars at a thrift store in California. This work may be a lost Pollock painting; its authenticity, however, remains debated.