Autumn Rhythm

Jackson Pollock Abstract Art

Pollock had buildd his initially "drip" painting in 1947, the product of a radical new approach to paint handling. With Autumn Rhythm, made in October of 1950, the artist is at the height of his powers. In this nonrepresentational picture, thinned paint was applied to unprimed, unstretched canvas that lay flat on the floor rather than propped on an easel. Poured, dripped, dribbled, scumbled, flicked, and splattered, the pigment was applied in the most unorthodox means. The artist also used sticks, trowels, knives-in short, anything but the traditional painter's implements-to build up dense, lyrical compositions comprised of intricate skeins of line. There's no central point of focus, no hierarchy of elements in this allover composition in which every bit of the surface is equally significant. The artist worked with the canvas flat on the floor, constantly moving all around it while applying the paint and working from all four sides.

Size is significant: Autumn Rhythm is 207 ins wide. It assumes the scale of an environment, enveloping both for the musician as he developed it and for watchers just who confront it. The task is a record of their procedure for coming-into-being. Its dynamic aesthetic rhythms and sensations-buoyant, hefty, graceful, arcing, swirling, pooling outlines of color-are direct proof the physical choreography of applying the paint using the musician's new methods. Spontaneity had been a critical element. But lack of premeditation should not be mistaken for ceding control; as Pollock claimed, "I'm able to control the movement of paint: there's absolutely no accident."

For Pollock, are you aware that Abstract Expressionists generally, art had to convey significant or revelatory content. He previously attained abstraction having studied with Thomas Hart Benton, worked briefly with all the Mexican muralists, confronted the methods and philosophy of Surrealists, and immersed himself in a report of myth, archetype, and ancient and "primitive" art. In addition to divide between abstraction and figuration ended up being even more nuanced-there was a back-and-forth at numerous moments in the job. Toward the termination of his life (he passed away in a car accident in 1956), he stated, "i am extremely representational a number of the time, and slightly constantly. But when you are working out of the unconscious, numbers tend to be bound to emerge. … Painting is a state to be. … Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints just what he could be."

Source: www.metmuseum.org
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