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Jackson Pollock: Formalism, Modernism and Modernity

FAVA 4046: Art and Critical Theory (20%)

Brittany Baker

on 15 November 2012

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Transcript of Jackson Pollock: Formalism, Modernism and Modernity

Jackson Pollock: Formalism, Modernism and Modernity Brittany Baker
FAVA 4046
Art and Critical Theory Direction of Presentation Brief History
Body of Presentation
Formalist Theory
Expressionist Theory
Abstract Expressionism
Sources History What makes a work of art valid? Development of Art
art produced for academies
Old Masters
History Paintings portraying moral or educative messages
defining pictorial space illusionistically
used as a tool of mimesis or narrative that educated the masses and provided an outlet to provide messages and communication to the populations World War II Role of Art Changed Societies plagued by WW2
Artists were seeking a way to bring unity and order to societies displaced by war and insecurity •New art forms and styles were emerging and arose from the processes of Modernism and changes that were initiated by the Industrial Revolution.
Style of Abstract Art emerged along with Formalist Theory
Through formalist analysis and a new way of validating a work of art in regards to feeling and meaning had emerged. Formalist Analysis/ Theory line, tone, shape, texture and colour” and how these “attributes are combined to provide various compositional effects such as balance, rhythm and harmony” Formal analysis used to draw questions and conclusions about the validity of feeling and emotional aesthetic experiences . Formal elements: Formalist Ideas •Formalist ideas also explore “ways in which visual and technical qualities blend together to give a particular look, appearance”, feeling or emotional aesthetic experience to the viewer. Abstract and Non Figurative Art Jackson Pollock. Autumn Rhythm. Artists of the 19th century have looked to formal analysis and theory “as apart of rejection of academic naturalism and narrative content.
Exploration of how a viewer can encounter feelings of emotional aesthetic experience through what an artist can “conceive on a flat surface without resorting to illusionism” or mimesis of real life. •Abstract art allowed the viewer to “primarily rely upon [their] visual response to the juxtaposition of forms and colours and to the other compositional elements” to evoke feeling or an aesthetic emotional response. Ability to obtain feeling or emotional aesthetic experience created by the artist to ascend from a flat surface by exploring the two dimensional canvas.
“abstraction as a process involving aesthetic judgments about arrangement and composition which are made visible by the work and through the use of the medium” •Abstraction allowed the artists of the modernist period to “explore the specificity of an object” and how “the various compositional and stylistic features have been used and combined” to portray certain meaning or emotional perspective to the viewer. Formalist Theory Roger Fry Clement Greenberg •Rodger Fry was a British Formal Theorist that believed “the best art evoked an emotional response which was communicated to the attuned spectator” •Greenberg’s theory of Modernism “asserted a selective canon of the best art on the basis of its systematic paring down and exploration of the medium” and its ability to portray an aesthetic emotional response to the viewer.
“orientation to flatness, became the central principle by which post war American abstraction was judged”. Formalist abstraction theories and techniques were adopted by many different painters including Abstract Expressionist painter JACKSON POLLOCK. Expressionist Theory Abstract Expressionist Theory focus can be placed on the act of the process of art making itself or the energy produced by “embracing the paint and surface”.
modernist approach allowed the abstract expressionists to “focus on the process of art making itself instead of static object”
•“Paint was usually applied rapidly and forcefully to create non-figurative images”
able to embrace the flatness of their two dimensional surfaces which “allowed the viewer to see the painting as a picture first” turning the occurrence into a “purely optical experience” enhanced by meaning and feelings originating from the process and technique of the creating artist Jackson Pollock DOB: January 28, 1912 – DOD: August 11, 1956 present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas
Expressionist artists sought to express meaning or emotional experience rather than physical reality American post–World War II art movement
American movement to achieve international influence and put New York City at the center of the western art world, a role formerly filled by Paris and Germany Paul Jackson Pollock Recognition and Display American painter
major figure in the abstract expressionist movement
well known for his uniquely defined style of drip painting December 1956, the year of his death, he was given a memorial retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, and a larger more comprehensive exhibition there in 1967.
More recently, in 1998 and 1999, his work was honored with large-scale retrospective exhibitions at MoMA and at The Tate in London. Thesis Number 1, 1950, Lavender Mist Jackson Pollock’s abstract work, such as, Number 1, 1950, Lavender Mist are valid works of art because they embrace modern techniques and styles and have the ability to communicate feeling and emotional response to the spectator. "Pollock's daring abstract work legitimized the convergence and mastery of chance, intuition, and control. Layered skeins of paint generate beauty and order out of seemingly random gestures." a stature of mythic proportions in the 1950’s as an international symbol of the New American painting after World War II” Working Process paintings were generally executed on a large canvas laid out on the floor
action painting
vibrant movements expressed through lines of paint
used gravity as a main participant in the process of his art Conclusions Pollock embraced the artist’s creative process as a means of communicating feeling and meaning of aesthetic experience through “spontaneity, premeditation, control and exhilarating freedom” and was able to create these emotional aesthetic experiences purely by the energy of his paint application and the paint and surface of the canvas itself, rather than figurative elements presented within the work. ability to communicate feeling and emotional response to the spectator
Everyone can identify with colours, lines, shapes therefore his paintings translates into a recognition which therefore generates cognitive functions and sensory reactions to the painting.
viewer is then able to connect to the elements in the painting and translate that into a feeling to then generate an emotional response from the painting. •Evokes response whether positive or negative, creates validity through recognition.
•The viewer therefore, able to connect to the elements in the painting and translate that into a feeling or an emotional response from the painting. Discussion/ Questions Do you believe the feelings and emotions derived from viewing a painting is enough to make it a valid piece of work? Comments or Feedback The END. Do you think that such sensory aspects, of the brain, can perceive a stepped process, as a complete whole form, that elicits some meaning or feeling through the use of natural processes and method applications to create a style and movement of painting. Sources Arnason, H. H. “Abstract Expressionism.” Janson’s History of Modern Art, 4th ed. New York; Harry N. Abrams, 1998. 311-442. Cernuschi, Claude. “The Subversion of Gravity in Jackson Pollock’s Abstractions.” Art Bulletin. Vol. 90 Issue 4. December 2008. 616-639. Greenberg, Clement. “Modernist Painting.” Ethics Contemporary. Prometheus Books, 1978. 198-206. Herskovic, Marika. “Jackson Pollock.” American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950’s: An Illustrated Survey. New York; New York School Press, 2003. 8-262.Lambert, Jean Clarence. “Jackson Pollock.” Abstract Painting. London; Heron Books, 1970. Polcari, Stephen. Abstract Expressionism and the Modern Experience. New York; Cambridge University Press, 1991. Pooke, Grant & Diana Newhall. “Formalism, Modernism and Modernity. Art History: The Basics. New York: Routledge Ltd, 2008. 33-58.Rose, Barbara. Pollock Painting: Photographs by Hans Namuth. New York; Agrinde Publications Ltd., 1997. Jacques Louis David. Oath of the Horatti. Jackson Pollock. Number 32, 1950. Jackson Pollock. Number 5, 1948. Pollock-Krasner House and Studio. Springs, East Hampton, Long Island, New York. Jackson Pollock. Number 7. Jackson Pollock. Number 10.
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