Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Abstract Art: Part 1

I've always liked abstract art, although I don't think I had any good reason to like it. Maybe I liked it because I thought it was cool to like something that I didn't understand.  Maybe because it was so mysterious.  After taking a few art history and humanities classes, I think I can understand why people appreciate it.  I thought I would write about this in three parts, each day taking a different piece of abstract/modern art and describing why I think it's pretty cool.
Today I thought I would talk about Jackson Pollock. Here's one of his most famous paintings:


 It's called Number 1.

I'm not sure if it was his first painting or not.  You see this painting all over the place, usually accompanied by the comment, "Sheesh, I could do that with my eyes closed." Well, maybe, but that's not the point. He wasn't trying to show off his mad skills with this painting. The canvas for this thing is 7 feet tall and 10 feet long.  To paint it, he sat the canvas on the floor and flung paint at it, like this:   

This is the art for Jackson Pollock, not the end result.  It was his movements that were the art form.  The creation of the painting was the beautiful part.  He never let a paintbrush touch the canvas. He created it all on the spot.  It was a completely random yet beautifully choreographed dance, almost.  This is how he described the process in his own words: "I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides, and literally be in the painting."

The art of Jackson Pollock is beautiful because it all hearkens back to the beauty of its creation.  Other painters and sculptors began doing the same thing.  Painters began making brushstrokes more visible, sculptors left thumbprints and tool marks deliberately behind.  The creation of art can be just as meaningful as the end result. 


Katie Lewis said...

Haha! This reminds me of the first Olivia book. :)

Lisa Lou said...

I really like abstract art as well...well, maybe "really like" is a little much. I appreciate it. And like to hear the stories behind it. Did you ever go to the Guggenheim in Berlin?

David x- said...

hey! this reminds me of this website: www.jacksonpollock.org

(it's pretty fun)

Katie Lewis said...

David! You're alive! Yay!