Saturday, 14 May 2016

Jackson In Extraction

Jackson Pollock, a suitable case for treatment.

I finally caught up with a major retrospective of the American painter's work last year, having been chasing him unsuccessfully for a while. Visits to see his canvases in Boston and San Francisco over the last decade had only yielded apologetic stickers proclaiming  "these works temporarily out on loan". I guess they had been travelling the great galleries of the world for some time before hanging out conveniently at Tate Liverpool.

Talented, troubled, misunderstood and frequently ridiculed, Jackson Pollock was original and visionary in his artistic endeavour, one of the defining abstract artists of the 20th century. He evolved and refined a technique of dribbling paint to build up his complex creations, a treatment that worked both on canvas and as therapeutic self-expression.

Although he was an alcoholic and died relatively young in a car-crash, Jackson made it a principle to never paint while under the influence (just in case you were wondering)...

Extract of Brown and Silver #1
On Viewing Jackson Pollock
'Brown and Silver'
- looks like babies
tumbling through the universe...

You drizzled, swirled,
slashed, spat, sprayed, dabbed
with speed and spontaneity,
the welcome embrace of chance,
pulling paint, tar,
blood, sweat and dog-ends
into a fantastic dance,
a visceral plastic trance.

Some only see
a drunken car-crash
in each giant canvas you devised,
pre-figuring your own demise;
but expression, not illustration,
was your creed
and what flowed
from those half-gallon cans
were bright streams of freedom,
birth marks of synaptic elation
- so much more
than the random outpourings
of an inchoate mind.

Thanks for reading. Have a grand week, S ;-)


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog and a wonderful poem.