Jackson Pollock

American (1912 - 1956)
Jackson Pollock Untitled About 1942 - 1944 © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation ARS, NY and DACS, London 2018.

Biography

Born 1912
Died 1956
Nationality American
Birth place Cody
Death place Maidstone

Born in Wyoming, Pollock became the figurehead of the American Abstract expressionist movement. It was partly because of him and his revolutionary style that the centre of interest of the art world shifted from Paris to New York after the Second World War. His fascination with Jungian psychology and the technique of automatism advocated by the Surrealists (many of whom moved to New York during the war) influenced him to abandon traditional methods of composition and technique. He developed what became known as an 'all-over manner', avoiding a compositional focus. Pollock often preferred to drip paint with the aid of sticks or a basting syringe, earning him the nickname 'Jack the Dripper'.

Glossary terms

  • A painting, drawing or writing process that aims to suppress rational thought, allowing the subconscious to take control. This spontaneous approach is associated with Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

  • Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.