what's he building in there?

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Comments (8)

jonathanpolkest on November 10, 2010

There are obvious differences between the figurative portraiture of Rembrandt and the narrative nieveti of Chagall. Rembrandt relies on his physical features to portray himself, Chagall reveals himself through an alegorical story of abstracted shapes. They both however, as did van Gogh, Kahlo and Picasso, use a human-like figure, variably distorted, as the center of their self-portraits.

When artists like Jackson Pollack (1912-1956) and Mark Rothko (1903-1970) took Abstraction to a new level, there were no longer human figures represented on the canvas. The Abstract Expressionists’ works, although difficult to call self-portraiture, are still deeply emotional and revealing. Kelly described the abstract piece of art best when he termed them "autobiographical outpourings." The impulsiveness and spontaneity of Pollack's drippings and splatterings can be seen as a more "realistic view" of the artist's feelings than the carefully constructed brush strokes of other artists seeking to create a self-portrait. Janson described Pollack's use of paint as a "storehouse of pent-up forces for him to release."

Mark Rothko's deeply saturated bands of color seem even farther removed from the figure than Pollack's paintings. And yet, the artist's emotions still come forth. "The people who weep before my pictures," Rothko noted, "are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them."

David Wilson on November 15, 2010

Yes... We have a right to know. Maybe it's part of a CIA PLOT

jonathanpolkest on November 16, 2010

Have you (DIW) read any Kurt Vonnegut? Theres one of his fine stories that implicate abstract expressionism as being a construct formulated by (CIA?)the rich to make the poor feel stupid....

David Wilson on November 18, 2010

Yes... Slaughterhouse 5, Cats Cradle... short stories. Mostly when I was at school and should have been doing something else. I can't say Im a huge fan of Abstract expressionism. Rothko's and Pollacks seen en masse quickly become tedious. I recently visited the Casa Das Historias in Cascais, Portugal - aka The Paula Rego museum, and had an excellent time there exploring the evolution of her art. Much more up my street. Personally I think she did her best work once she'd got out from under the American abstract influence.

wanderman on July 30, 2011

I don't know anything about Rothko, but pollack is a species of fish.

David Wilson on July 30, 2011

Yes... my bad spleeling. I caught a pollack off of the cliffs at Kells Bay in Kerry, 1968. Had to give it to our incompetent landlady (think of a female Basil Fawlty) as we leaving that lunchtime. Pollocks I've encountered mostly at MOMA in New York.

jonathanpolkest on August 1, 2011

I,ve always spelled them Pollock, I could be wrong but if I am I've left a very long trail of "spleeling" , Pollock formed a significant factor in the diet of those raised in West Cornwall, they were our version of Cod although now somewhat scarce I notice small Pollock being marketed from Canadian waters.

Rothko visited West Cornwall where he met with Peter Lanyon, Pollack didn't, in fact he was quite defensive about the need to travel and explore (Europe) in one interview I heard. Pollock and Mackeral were considered fair game by anyone with the wherewithall to go out and catch them, their numbers were by comparison very plentiful until the recent problems with quota's and over fishing management. In the last century when piloting large ships around the waters of the Scillies, a local pilot was asked by his host master mariner (through a translator) what was the language of Cornwall? believing the question to be about diet rather than language the pilot replied with a dialectic couplet he had learned growing up in Scilly: Scads an Taties All the week, Conger Pie on Sundays. Meaning Mackeral and Potatoes in the weekdays Conger Pie on Sunday. Guess I have to change my spelling habit now to accomodate Pollack...

theverbiage on August 17, 2011

both spellings seem to be acceptable - Wiktionary and Webster's have both as alternatives.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 9, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by jonathanpolkest
    • Camera: Panasonic DMC-FZ7
    • Taken on 2010/09/02 13:45:53
    • Exposure: 0.033s (1/30)
    • Focal Length: 6.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
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