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Splash, Drip, Splatter

abstract-paint-splatter

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) "Convergence," 1952 Oil on canvas From the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
“Convergence,” 1952
Oil on canvas
From the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956

Inspired by the Jackson Pollock painting in our current exhibition, Van Gogh to Rothko, Crystal Bridges’ College Ambassadors got together recently to try out Pollock’s drip and splatter method of action painting.

You can see a time-lapse video of the project here:

Pollock’s drip paintings were not random.  There is intention in his work, though not necessarily an intention to represent anything specific; rather, the work seeks to express something of the interior frame of mind of the artist and, in a manner of speaking, of the American psyche.  Pollock, like other painters of his generation, were seeking a new visual language to address the changed reality of post-WWII America.

In 1951, Pollock said: “It seems to me that the modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or any other past culture. Each age finds its own technique.”

The critic Harold Rosenberg defined the canvas of the American Abstract Expressionists “an arena in which to act;” and said that “what was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.”

Jackson Pollock at work in his studio, 1949. Photograph: Martha Holmes

Jackson Pollock at work in his studio, 1949.
Photograph: Martha Holmes

Pollock himself said that he went into his paintings, and let them emerge organically.  “When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing,” he said. “[T]he painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.”

What do you think of our College Ambassadors’ collaborative drip painting?  If you would like to get an up-close look, come to Art Night Out: These Times are a’Changing on April 25. The Ambassadors’ painting will serve as a backdrop for the photobooth at the event.

Linda DeBerry
Senior Copy Editor / Publications Manager

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