Jackson Pollock was an influential American painter, and the leading force behind the abstract expressionist movement in the art world. This type of art was popular after World War II and was developed in New York.
What does “abstract expressionist” mean? Abstract means something isn’t concrete or easily defined. Impressionism, in the art world, means the art was freely brushed without defined edges and brush strokes. Which of these paintings do you think it “abstract Impressionism”?
If you said "Reflection of the Big Dipper", you're right! This piece of art is by Jackson Pollock. Can you see the differences in the style of paintings? "The Starry Night" is by Vincent van Gogh, a "post-impressionist" painter. "Water Lilies" is by Claude Monet, the founder of French Impressionist painting. Don't worry - we'll discuss them in another article.
Below are several more paintings by Jackson Pollock. What do you think? How would you describe them?
Jackson Pollock started using synthetic resin-based paints called alkyd enamels. No one really used these for painting art back then; this was a new concept. In fact, today we would use these type of paints for glossy floor coverings or in spray paints.
Pollock’s method of painting has been called “action painting” or “drip painting”. He used hardened brushes, sticks, and even basting syringes as paint applicators. Pollock would place his canvases on the floor and pour, drip, and sling paint onto the canvas while walking around it.
What do you see when you look at his art? Do you like this type of art?