Jackson Pollock’s Birthday

Yesterday (January 28) was the birthday of the artist Jacskon Pollock.

Regular readers know that we at CatSynth are big followers of modern art, and Pollock was one of the most well-known and influential artists from the rich period of American art in the 1950s and 1960s. He is most often associated with the large and diverse movement abstract expressionism, but his work is quite distinctive even with in that context, and his large “drip paintings” are instantly recognizable.

I first encountered Pollock’s work at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and later at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I did have an opportunity to see a major retrospective at the MoMA in 1999, which brought together not only his large iconic paintings, but his earlier works that mixed abstraction with Native American and folk influences – although these works were “modern” they were more conventional for contemporary art of the time. I managed to find this article from the News Hour (PBS) discussing Pollock and the 1999 retrospective.

Although Pollock is held in high regard by those who follow and care deeply about modern art, he is often treated derisively by people who simply don’t like modern or abstract art. He is perhaps the most associated with the phrase “my five year old could do that.” The idea is laughable. This is unique and skillful art, especially on such a large scale. Such paintings were not seen before the 1940s, and centuries of five-year olds never produced anything like it.

Google has a tradition of honoring major artists on their birthdays with a themed home page, and yesterday they did so for Jackson Pollock:

Thanks to The Madville Times for capturing the above image.

2 thoughts on “Jackson Pollock’s Birthday

  1. I flew from South Dakota in the middle of winter just to see the MoMA retrospective (o.k., that, and to visit a really pretty girl). I remember sitting on that very bench, entranced. Wonderful exhibit. “Unique and skillful” — indeed. Pollock’s art came from an audacity that said, “Yeah, this too is art. Give me some wall space!”

    (And thanks for the link! 🙂 )

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