Sunday, September 03, 2006


Looking at Pollock

The first time I looked at Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm No. 30 with eyes wide open I was terrified by its intensity. Lines undulating ever nearer, closer. Violence, both overt and covert. Rhythm over rhythm. Line over line. System over system. It’s an impressive image. It makes it easy to forget the assumptions. It’s addictive, the power it seems to diagram. Looking with eyes wide open is not a glance; it’s staring until you cry.

I remember when those books with three dimensional shapes hidden within nonsensical pages of colors and shapes (if you looked at it cross-eyed at the tip of your nose and backed off slowly – “look through the page”) were a big hit with my Dad. I could never get them to work. Pollock is not so overt. He, the Wyoming wild-man, pictures Life near and far, abstract and concrete in tactile slashes of intersecting streams of color and non-color. Look across time from outer-space; see us swim under a micro-scope. There is nothing to see except for what is.

Pollock’s work is direct, immediately present. There is no drawing; there are no edges. It is raw and real. A huge walked-over canvas loses me in a world of seeing. Pollock is easy to replicate at one or two strokes of brush-flung paint. What designates his work as inimitable is not his individual marks, it’s the way he combined, layered and mixed color and intensity. Pollock paints a picture of “everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” He gives us a window. All we need to do is look.

Inspired by a trip to the Guggenheim Museum of Art, and E.E. Cummings. See the exhibition No Limits, Just Edges: Jackson Pollock Paintings on Paper at this web address:


Blogger Le Magnifique said...

Your words are wonderfully delirious as the art they seek to explore. While Jack the Dripper may seem easy to replicate, I doubt though that it is actually the case. But than here in lies his genius, he makes it seem like accidental dripping of the paint on canvas, yet his “actions” are quite deliberate and orchestrated, is it order within chaos or chaotic swirls seeking a pattern? Who can tell? Thank you for sharing.

9:53 AM  

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