Analysis





French Website

Share |

 








Jackson Pollock (1912-1956). The unconscious in Action. 



To send this page to a friend





 HomePage  Newsletter  Analysis   Movements  Painters  Kinds  Techniques  History   Museums  Exposures   Galleries   Artists    Plays  Advertisements  Shop  Contact us     Who are us?  Bonds  






Jackson Pollock (1912-1956). The unconscious in Action.

Jackson Pollock, is an American painter, it is one of the principal representatives of the abstracted expressionnism, he is member of the school of New York. It practices the dripping and the all-over, terms which we will explain and its step privileges the spontaneous expression of the individual in the act to paint. 

It is impossible to deal with Pollock without referring to Hans Hartung and in Georges Mathieu because the expressionnism abstracts it is also expressed in Europe under the name of lyric abstraction or informal art marked by the absence of organized structures.

There are enormously similarities in the smoothness of the line, the fluidity and the general aspect of works between Pollock, Hartung and Mathieu. Moreover dates are similar. The first great personal exposure of Hans Hartung takes place with the gallery Lydia Conti, in Paris, in 1947. It is as in 1947, as Georges Mathieu settles in Paris and contributes to give rise to the lyric abstraction. The famous painting N° 5, of Pollock was painted in 1948 just like N° 1A. 

It is obvious that these artists influenced themselves mutually and besides Georges Mathieu declared into 1949 that Jackson Pollock was the alive American great painter. 

For Hans Hartung his abstract painting accurately reflects its design of the representation of reality: a free and pure expression must transcend reality. Its method rests primarily on very sharp blows of brush, the speed in the creative process being, according to him, “ a spiritual need ”.

In 1947, Georges Mathieu, autodidact, gives rise to the lyric abstraction, 
This spontaneous and gestural painting, influenced by Far-Eastern penmanship, and very near to the American action painting. Endowed with a speed of amazing execution, based on automatisms, it carries out as from the Fifties a whole series of great compositions carried out in public, often in less than thirty minutes.

The center of the movement abstract expressionnist is at New York, from where its designation of School of New York. Even if the aspects of this current are as numerous as the painters who follow it, 2 main tendencies release themselves some: the action painting and the color field painting. The artists of the first group stick to the texture and the consistency of painting like to the gestures of the artist, whereas the painters of the second group insist on the unification of the color and the form. Pollock is the painter par excellence of the action painting. It pours or sprinkles the painting of color and carries out then interlaced lines which seem to extend in arabesques without end. Painting of the instinct, creative energy, with the spontaneous gestuality, the action painting, term suggested in 1952 by the critic American Harold Rosenberg, not privileges the image but the action to paint without preconceived idea of the end result.

The experiment of the execution of work becomes the topic even of this one. It is especially question, indeed, of the operative chance in the gestures of the artist handling a fluid painting in fast and uncontrolled epic whose works of Pollock are a perfect example. Especially in the dripping. 
The word dripping comes from English drop drop. It consists in projecting everywhere (all over) the color on the painting, generally of very large size and posed with very the ground, with pots of painting bored, or applied with sticks, rods, brushes…

The technique of the all over, it’s to paint on the totality of pictorial space implies the absence of figure and focal point. It is thus by the only form of the pictorial matter that the artist must go to deepest from the emotion, and release his unconscious as a practitioner the gestural automatism, in its body investment. 
The painter of the action painting is the visionary of his interior reality, that which gives form to formless of its unconscious, by the action painting, the artist becomes a romantic figure.

Born in Cody (Wyoming), Jackson Pollock passes its youth to Arizona and California. In 1928, he undertakes to study painting and is registered in Manual Arts High School of Los Angeles. He discovers New York in 1930 and follows the courses to Art Students League of Thomas Hart Benton, who will give to him his support during all the decade. At this point in time is born its curiosity for the Mexican muralists Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Their frescos will give him the taste of the large sizes.

Jackson Pollock is influenced by various experiments. Child, it attends a ritual of the Navajos Indians. When a member of the tribe is sick Navajos paint with sand, pollens, petals or flour. Paintings are carried out on the ground and are encircled by a framework or guard. The member of the community which is neat comes to place himself in the middle of painting. Then work is destroyed, it is used to rub the patient then is thrown far from the village. According to this design, it is the action to carry out painting and not the object which is essential. It is also the action to carry out the work which cures the patient and not painting it even.

The expression action painting takes account of this reference.
Moreover Pollock and its psychoanalyst Joseph Henderson, a psychoanalyst trained by Carl Gustav Jung, impassions all 2 for the primitive art.
With Henderson Pollock interprets its works as if they were dreams and they evoke much the Indian sculptures. The primitive art uses powerful prototypes connected to the unconscious collective in the design of C.G. Jung of the unconscious one. One finds totemic figures in certain paintings of Pollock, The She-Wolf (1943). 
Pollock asserts the influence of the cubism because he saw preparatory drawings of Guernica of Picasso, paintings of Joan Miró but also known surrealism by seeing automatic painting of Andre Masson. The painting of Pollock towards 1938 are between cubism (for the form) and surrealism (for the subject). 

It is seen the birth of the style of Pollock is the result of many parameters. 

Moreover, certainly with the assistance of its psychoanalyst Pollock becomes aware of the process of the repression and the progressive obliteration of the conscience of certain memories. He does not hesitate to declare that he produces coats of paint to dissimulate certain forms, in this direction his work becomes almost a public therapy. To don’t influence the spectator it replaces the titles by numbers or sometimes the painting is baptized after several visits, according to the interpretation of the spectators. 

In 1951, Pollock starts to draw on the paintings with syringes, then starts to try out effects of tablecloth of painting thick or fluid, smears, and are played of fusions between matters : it is what one sees in The Deep (1953).
But especially it is renewed unceasingly, its style is never fixed. In same the years, 1953, it produces completely different paintings. 
About 1951 its production takes a new direction because he is confronted with the problem of the figuration. Pollock reintroduced in the networks of dripping, from now on black, of the human figures. (Echo. 1953). 
The impact of the work of Pollock was amplified considerably after the diffusion of film of Hans Namuth, in particular in the schools of arts of The United States, in the years 1950. 

“ I practically never tighten my painting before painting. I prefer to nail my painting not tended to the wall or the ground. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the ground I am more at ease. I feel nearer to the table, I make some of advantage left; because in this way, I can walk around, work starting from the 4 sides and be literally in the work. It is a method similar to that of indians painters of the West who work on sand. ” “When I am in my painting, I am not conscious of what I do. It is only after one species of time of awareness that I see what I wanted to do. I am not afraid to carry out changes, to destroy the image, etc, because a picture has its own life. I test 
to let emerge. It is only when I lose the contact with the painting which the result is chaotic. Otherwise, there is total harmony, an easy exchange, and the painting is successful. ”

Jackson Pollock realized more than 700 paintings.

He dies at the 44 years age in an accident of car with The Springs on August 11th, 1956.

It is only starting from the death of Pollock that its work starts to bear its fruits. The myth of the artist to the tragic destiny which knew to correspond to American space, its speed and its energy, this myth makes grow the request. Sold in November 2006 for the sum of 140 million dollars, the N°5 painting, painted in 1948, belonged to the most expensive paintings of all times.