Tribute: Jackson Pollock Died 55 Years Ago Today

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Renowned artist Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. Pollock’s most famous paintings were made during the “drip period” between 1947 and 1950, a time when he experimented with unique methods of applying paint to canvas. After struggling with alcoholism for his entire adult life, Pollock, on August 11, 1956, at 10:15 pm, died in a single-car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible while driving under the influence of alcohol.

And a little history of his life from the early days below snipped from Wikipedia:

Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in 1912, the youngest of five sons. His parents, Stella May McClure and Leroy Pollock, grew up in Tingley, Iowa. His father had been born McCoy but took the surname of his neighbors, who adopted him after his own parents had died within a year of each other. Stella and LeRoy Pollock were Presbyterian; the former, Irish; the latter, Scotch-Irish. LeRoy Pollock was a farmer and later a land surveyor for the government.

Jackson grew up in Arizona and Chico, California. While living in Echo Park, California, he enrolled at Los Angeles’ Manual Arts High School, from which he was expelled, after having been expelled another high school in 1928. During his early life, he experienced Native American culture while on surveying trips with his father. In 1930, following his brother Charles Pollock, he moved to New York City where they both studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League of New York. Benton’s rural American subject matter shaped Pollock’s work only fleetingly, but his rhythmic use of paint and his fierce independence were more lasting influences.

In attempts to fight his alcoholism, from 1938 through 1941 Pollock underwent Jungian psychotherapy with Dr. Joseph Henderson and later with Dr. Violet Staub de Laszlo in 1941-1942. Henderson made the decision to engage him through his art and had Pollock make drawings, which led to the appearance of many Jungian concepts in his paintings. Recently it has been hypothesized that Pollock might have had bipolar disorder.

Find more about Jackson Pollock and his work here.

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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

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