[Epub] ↠ Jackson Pollock: An American Saga Author Gregory White Smith – Thomashillier.co.uk

Jackson Pollock: An American Saga Based On Family Letters And Documents, Lengthy Interviews With His Widow, Lee Krasner, As Well As His Psychologists And Psychoanalysts, This Book Explodes The Myths Surrounding His Death In Color And Black And White Photos And Reproductions


10 thoughts on “Jackson Pollock: An American Saga

  1. says:

    One of the best artist biographies I ve ever read What can I say I love sullen, abusive, self hating, inarticulate, drunken visionaries who, despite their many personality flaws, changed the course of modern art forever It just goes to show that good connections and lucky breaks paved the way to creating the illusion that he was a brilliant artist Makes me wish I knew Peggy Guggenheim.


  2. says:

    I ve always liked Jackson Pollock s paintings but never really knew that much about him personally Well, OK, I knew he was an angry drunk a nice guy when sober I knew he had major fame after a Life Magazine article about him I knew most of his work I even knew he died in a car accident But this book follows his entire life with heavy detail and it gives you great insight into both his psyche AND art ideas His work is a lotthan just dripping paint on canvas I read this book as soon I ve always liked Jackson Pollock s paintings but never really knew that much about him personally Well, OK, I knew he was an angry drunk a nice guy when sober I knew he had major fame after a Life Magazine article about him I knew most of his work I even knew he died in a car accident But this book follows his entire life with heavy detail and it gives you great insight into both his psyche AND art ideas His work is a lotthan just dripping paint on canvas I read this book as soon as it came out have always loved it It won the Pulitzer Prize it s very well deserved I highly recommend it


  3. says:

    If you want to know everything there is to know about Jackson Pollock, I highly recommend this book The movie was based on this book Pollock s life was researched extensively for this book and there is muchdetail than I had wanted, but it s over 800 pages, so what did I expect It s a fascinating, engrossing read of a complex, troubled man I recently saw one of his large paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and it s amazing Well written, incredible book about an amazing American If you want to know everything there is to know about Jackson Pollock, I highly recommend this book The movie was based on this book Pollock s life was researched extensively for this book and there is muchdetail than I had wanted, but it s over 800 pages, so what did I expect It s a fascinating, engrossing read of a complex, troubled man I recently saw one of his large paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and it s amazing Well written, incredible book about an amazing American artist


  4. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here SPOILER ALERT This book has a fascinating wealth of information on both Pollack and American art history in general Why not five stars.well.throughout the entire book the authors continue to assume and ascribe things such as thoughts, motivations, and actions to Pollack that are clear assumptions on their parts Examples of this include defining what he thinks when there is no record of what he thought, defining demons and issues that he in fact faces when there is no stated record SPOILER ALERT This book has a fascinating wealth of information on both Pollack and American art history in general Why not five stars.well.throughout the entire book the authors continue to assume and ascribe things such as thoughts, motivations, and actions to Pollack that are clear assumptions on their parts Examples of this include defining what he thinks when there is no record of what he thought, defining demons and issues that he in fact faces when there is no stated record or evidence to indicate that this is indeed the truth, defining core realizations and insights about what Pollack faced when creating art, and sometimes intricately describing actions and details about what occurs when there is no way that they would know the particulars of what actually occured A concrete example is 1 statements such as in a particular painting he IS painting the lace of his childhood outfits and mother s crochet..okay how do you know that is what he is painting That is an association that the authors make Pollack never said he was painting childhood lace If they want to theorize that fine they need to make it clear it is their theory in their writing language The authors don t do that they say that he IS painting the lace there is a huge difference This kind of writing is prevalent throughout and is distracting and annoying.Too manyexamples to share.2 In general I felt when reading this that accuracy of Pollack s thoughts, feelings, and portrayal where sometimes betrayed sacraficed by an overindulgence in literary niceties, themes, and or thesis I can see that this book won a Pulitzer Prize A great example of this is the ending SPOILER ALERT As Jackson dies in an auto mobile accident the authors write a literary reference to escape velocity indeed this is the title of the chapter His body hurling in space towards his death becomes a metaphor and his speeding in the air takes on the quality of a freebird escaping from burdens Yes it had a nice literary almost romantic ring to it However, as I read it I felt the familiar annoyance mixed with anger I don t want his body projectiling towards his death to be used as a literary device I daresay it even seemed that his projectile body was a veiled metaphor for paint To me it cheapened a sad and tragic event and transformed it into a neatly tied literary box for audience consumption.And it also rubbed some reoccuring sore wounds as a reader Once again I was frustrated with a literary story This one spoke of escape and freedom Well For all we know his last moments were not associated with escape or freedom, maybe it was about something else alltogether 3 Pollack and Krasner many times felt like a subject under too harsh light of scrunity Sometimes the biography was painful, painful to read and I felt that he Lee sometimes were laying raw and exposed for reader consumption I can take that they had very tragic lives I think the problem for me was that when you mixed things like alcohol, drug addiction, sexuality, and sado machocism with writing as discussed above that sometimes packaged experiences and people into neat little literary issues, theories, and or assumptions that it made me feel as a reader that these peopleand their problems were overly simplified products for consumption.4 ALL THAT SAID This a great book I just think it it so important when reading it to realize its limitations.Pollack I think wasa mystery than the book indicates He and his problems are entitled to the great void of mystery and as responsible biographer readers always do it is important when reading this book to have respect for all the things that we truly do not know about him, his life, his issues, his demons, etc


  5. says:

    This is a very good and well researched biography of an extraordinary man and artist Pollock was notorious for reticence in expressing himself in words, other than short cryptic utterances, because they never seemed to say the full truth, although he could talk clearly and simply about art when he was comfortable with doing so He was a man in a great deal of pain, and experienced the world in ways that cut him off from others the authors suggest that he saw the world in a flashing ever changi This is a very good and well researched biography of an extraordinary man and artist Pollock was notorious for reticence in expressing himself in words, other than short cryptic utterances, because they never seemed to say the full truth, although he could talk clearly and simply about art when he was comfortable with doing so He was a man in a great deal of pain, and experienced the world in ways that cut him off from others the authors suggest that he saw the world in a flashing ever changing and somewhat threatening yet beautiful flux that was better suited to express in his use of fluid paint than intraditional media He was also a classic artist maudit, alcoholic, trouble maker, given to immense rages, and strangely sweet and charismatic moods, insecure about his masculinity, strangely boyish in his immaturity.The problem with artist biographies is that there is a tendency to explain every aspect of their art in one to one correspondence to specific features of their life, when in a sense you areinterested in the struggle to create the art itself or at least I am One isinterested in the food at a fine restaurant that the state of the kitchen I ve been there, you don t want to know This is the aspect of Pollock that I most valued in the book being human the obviously sensational train wreck of his life story was also of great interest, of course Pollock s development was anything but smooth, and he gave little obvious indications of talent in his early work his teacher, Benton, however, sensed in him, something deeper than facile skill, a hunger that would drive him to do extraordinary and tremendously innovative workThe authors seem to have engaged in a degree of heavy psychological archaeology to reconstruct private portions of his life, that when examining the footnotes seem a bit thin to say the least, and based on hearsay Admittedly, given that reticence to justify and explain it is an overwhelming temptation the polar opposite of the problem of their other subject, van Gogh, who was so verbose and eager to justify and explain that they were forced into endless cycles of fact checking This is probably the chief criticism that I would level against the book


  6. says:

    This brilliant biography is about muchthan just the life of Jackson Pollock although that s a sufficiently worthy subject in its own right It also touches on the complex relationship between art and art criticism, particularly Clement Greenberg and how pushed and prodded Pollock into the art hero he so desperately wanted to write about It s also about families, the great depression, socialism, surrealism, the shift of the intellectual and cultural center of gravity from Paris to NYC, L This brilliant biography is about muchthan just the life of Jackson Pollock although that s a sufficiently worthy subject in its own right It also touches on the complex relationship between art and art criticism, particularly Clement Greenberg and how pushed and prodded Pollock into the art hero he so desperately wanted to write about It s also about families, the great depression, socialism, surrealism, the shift of the intellectual and cultural center of gravity from Paris to NYC, Long Island, art gallery owners, Peggy Gugenheim, etc A phonebook sized tome on the art world viewed through the lens of one artist s life might not be everyone s bag, but it s beautifully written, exhaustively researched, and elegently structured


  7. says:

    Pollock, based on the book by Gregory White SmithPollock is an excellent motion picture, based on the book by Gregory White Smith, reflecting upon the life of a great American artist for a period of about ten years, the most prominent at times the only important painter of the greatest democracy in the world up to the arrival of the Donald.The film won an Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Marcia Gay Harden as the wife of the hero, a painter in her own right, understanding, v Pollock, based on the book by Gregory White SmithPollock is an excellent motion picture, based on the book by Gregory White Smith, reflecting upon the life of a great American artist for a period of about ten years, the most prominent at times the only important painter of the greatest democracy in the world up to the arrival of the Donald.The film won an Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Marcia Gay Harden as the wife of the hero, a painter in her own right, understanding, visionary, loyal, gritty, strong, perseverant and was nominated for another Best Actor in a Leading Role for the formidable Ed Harrris giving us an idea of what Jackson Pollock might have seemed like.At the beginning of the feature, Jackson Pollock lives with his brother, Sande Pollock, and his wife, the latter being overwhelmed by the presence of her difficult, at times outrageous finally even criminal brother in law.Lee Krasner comes to visit the painter one day, curious to see the creator of some works she had seen and the two would have a long very often straining, difficult relationship, with frequent fights during one such vicious quarrel, taking place in front of the critic Clem Greenberg portrayed by the fabulous, if now ostracized Jeffrey Tambor Lee shouts that Pollock is killing her and he replies repeating bitch a few times.It takes quite some time for the great artist to be recognized as a genius and achieve fame, read articles in Life and other media outlets about him and his art, have a film made3 with and about him.Peggy Guggenheim has a crucial role in the discovery of Jackson Pollock, to start with, one day they make an appointment for her to see the paintings and she is upset because Pollock is late and appears to be inebriated, but once the protector of the arts sees the paintings, the career of the hero is salvaged.A contract is signed, whereby the painter receives a monthly stipend of 150 was it A decent sum many decades ago, considering the protagonist was unknown at that moment Peggy Guggenheim would receive a thirty per cent commission for the work he would sell.The relationship with the rich, vibrant, if not extremely good looking woman is close, at one point the painter asks about the many lovers she is supposed to have had and wants to have sex with her, takes his pants down somewhat, but fails to have intimate relations forthan a few seconds.Alcohol has a major role to play in the life of Jackson Pollock, making him a worthy character even if he is not included, for the lineup of geniuses depicted in the fabulous work Intellectuals by Paul Johnson, along with Tolstoy, Rousseau, Ibsen, Hemingway and others.When he is drunk, which happens often, the hero is abhorrent, abusive, violent, throws things around, scares Lee and anyone who happens to be around, insults and finally would be responsible for a tragedy perhaps the details would not be mentioned, in the name of avoiding a spoiler, although the fate of the artist might be common knowledge.The protagonist has a positive connection with Clem Greenberg, the critic that would mostly appreciate, even praise the work of the most important painter of the new generation, up to the point where Clem feels that after a glorious decade, the paintings are no longer divine, spectacularly good, but just fine.That is making the sometimes vain painter mad the artist keeps reading in some scenes what Life is saying about him at his zenith, some Italian magazine, making his family resort to silence, for he seems so self absorbed that a modern audience would think of TrumpHowever, the moment of supreme glory arrives the paintings are sold for thousands of dollars, making the creator joke that in time they would be even sold for one hundred thousand dollars whereas today they change hands for about one hundred and forty million dollars When invited on a radio show, the genius is asked about the meaning of his work, to which he replies that we should look at such artwork as we look at beds of flowers, without wondering what they mean in another scene wherein Lee keeps talking about the technique and the explanations, the annoyed Pollock says stop talking and paint the damn thing.In that same program, the hero is asked about the different approach to creation in the history of art and the painter says that in different periods, creators have had different means and in the present, the artist isfocused on inspiration, themes coming from within himself.As for the dripping technique, the talk show host well, what we would call today, but may have had a different name at the time is interested to know how it works and whether it is not difficult to control what the dripping paint would look like on canvas.Jackson Pollock explains that he works on the ground, using brushes, but they are usedlike stills and he feels he has control over the drips, for he has been working for a long time like this and he has gained the necessary experience.For a period of two years, the hero is able to resist the urge to drink, but after finishing the work for the film about him, he takes the bottle, insults the director, cameraman and producer of the film, repeatedly calling him a phony, sits at the Thanksgiving table with about ten guests and then takes all the dinner set up and throws it with the table over the guests and the floor.He has many affairs, finally appearing to settle with Edith Metzger played by the outstanding Jennifer Connelly saying that she is his last hope, but he still drinks too much and provokes a tragedy


  8. says:

    I got so wrapped up in this book, it was like reading fiction I had such emotion, anger and sympathy, mostly anger, for Jackson and Lee Highly recommended if you want to knowabout Pollock and or modern art I just wish there was a final chapter that recapped his life, commented on his legacy, and maybe even attempted to answer that question Is he the greatest American painter


  9. says:

    Currently about 1 2 way through the book not sure I am liking the section he wrote on Lee Krasner here feels very misogynistic to me Describes her as ugly etc I do like to insight into his life before he became an artist, very eye opening.Finally finished this book too long I think although interesting details about his early life, before he became famous.


  10. says:

    A very well written and thoroughly researched biography of a bewilderingly self destructive artist The authors did a great job of putting Pollock in the context of 20th century American painting It s a door stopper of a book but worth the effort.


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