Jackson Pollock (1912–56) was one of the most radical, influential and provocative American artists of the twentieth century. In 1947 he developed a unique method of dripping trails of paint onto a canvas laid flat on the floor, pioneering the completely abstract ‘all-over’ style known as abstract expressionism. This lavishly illustrated publication accompanies the first exhibition in over three decades of the next crucial phase of his work, referred to as the black pourings. Produced between 1951 and 1953, these paintings signalled a deliberate move away from the iconic drip technique and, most surprisingly, sometimes even featured figurative elements.
Fifty years after the appearance of his groundbreaking essay, Michael Fried has now produced a thorough reappraisal of the works especially for this publication. Essays by Jo Applin, Gavin Delahunty and Stephanie Straine further explore the paintings and their related drawings, regarded as Pollock’s most important as a draughtsman, as well as rarely seen sculptures that further illuminate Pollock’s experimentations with space, density and figuration.
Essential reading for all those interested in one of modern art’s leading artists and in the development of painting in the mid-twentieth century onwards, this book casts new light onto the ‘blind spots’ in the history and critical reception of these fascinating yet previously over-shadowed works.
Gavin Delahunty is Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Jo Applin is Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, University of York.
Michael Fried is J.R. Herbert Boone Chair in the Humanities, Johns Hopkins University.
Stephanie Straine is Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool.
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