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Re: Pollack for bad boys (to the student teachers)


Date: Sun Aug 31 2003 - 16:16:58 PDT

I read a WONDERFUL biography of Pollack about 10 years ago. I would
give anything to find the same bio again, as I would like to give it to
folks who don't "get modern art." The thing that impressed me so much
about that book was the way the author portrayed Pollack's torment and
what he was trying to do with his art. I never realized that when he
was painting in his barn with a stick and cans of paint, he was enacting
his dreams, nightmares, and visions in the air with the stick dripping
paint. One thing he painted more than once was a horse that haunted him
in his dreams. He would draw the horse in the air with paint flying off
of his stick. What looks like blobs of paint are actually a record of
the enactment. This bio was about 800 pages long. In it, there is a
wonderful chapter or two describing the beginning, middle and end of
these artists lives under the support of the WPA. We are introduced to
a number of other artists that Pollack associated with, his years in art
school, his relationship with his wife, of course, and his art education
and reactions to it. You also find out a lot about his childhood and
how/why he was the way he was as an adult. The book, (Dang it, I want
to know who the author was) tells not only Pollack's story and
relationships, but also the stories of his contemporaries and how and
why they effected each other's lives so deeply. That period of art
history was always left out in my art history classes for some reason.
The excuse was that we ran out of time...twice! I was totally ignorant
of abstract expressionism until I read that bio. I cried through the
book. I hated him and loved him, all at the same time. We were in NY
the summer after I read it. I remember standing in front of a room full
of Pollacks in the MOMA, tears streaming down my face because I "got it"
so much! All I can remember is that the bookjacket was white with black
letters, and I think it was co-authored. Does ANYONE know of the book I
am referring to?