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Pollock Matters

by Ellen G Landau and Claude Cernuschi Mcmullen Museum Of Art, Boston College
Pub Date:
Pbk 178 pages
AU$112.00 NZ$114.78
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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Legendary abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912–56) is most famous for the frenetic, highly textured works created through his trademark “drip” technique in which he poured paint from its can directly onto the canvas. Pollock Matters explores, for the first time, the personal and artistic interrelationship between the notorious artist and noted Swiss-born photographer and graphic designer Herbert Matter.

Published to coincide with an exhibition at Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art, Pollock Matters traces a close friendship that spanned almost two decades, beginning in 1936 when the men’s future wives, painters Lee Krasner and Mercedes Carles, met after being sent to jail for protesting Works Progress Administration cutbacks. The friendship continued until Pollock’s tragic death in an automobile accident in the summer of 1956.

Featuring compelling visual and documentary evidence, including over 150 illustrations, this book demonstrates a critically important chain of influence between two creative individuals not addressed in previous studies of their respective careers. Pollock Matters reveals the crucial role that Herbert Matter’s technical innovations played in helping to stimulate Pollock’s radical artistic conception of “energy made visible.” A previously unknown body of small drip paintings labeled by Matter as “Jackson experimentals” is presented here along with scientific analysis of the works. This volume will be essential reading for anyone seeking an enriched understanding of Jackson Pollock’s life and work or the history of abstract painting.
Ellen G. Landau is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. Claude Cernuschi is professor of art history at Boston College.