Abstract Expressionism article reflection

I thought that the most interesting portion of this article was the section titled “Strategies of self-expression.” I wish that they would have gone into detail about a few other artist, but I do think that Jackson Pollock is an interesting case study. Throughout the article you learn a little bit about Jackson Pollock’s mental health. Having that bit of knowledge intensifies your understanding of his process. Abstract expressionism was about personal expression. His work is clearly chaotic, but also balances that chaos out with a sort of visual poetry. You can get lots in the work, so when you think about the ideals of the movement, you are really getting lost in Pollock’s mental creation. The works should essentially be an exact replica of his emotions because his action style of painting involves a reactionary process where he his constantly “dancing” with the painting. There is a passage at the end of the section that reads, “Pollock was less interested in manufacturing lasting aesthetic masterworks than in performing acts, or rituals, by which he aimed to express-and heal- himself.” I think that there is something very romantic about that statement. You learn that Pollock believed that primitive art provided direct links to the unconscious mind. So when you think about the way he went about creating his action paintings, by dripping globs in a  seemingly carelessly manner, across the page, one could make the connection to a monkey doing a painting or a caveman painter. Learning those things about Pollock gives you a greater understanding of his work, and the way his process is connected to the ideals of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

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