You’ll have heard of Pollock, “Jack the dripper”, as Time magazine dubbed him. He was that bloke who put his canvasses on the floor and dropped paint onto them. If you’ve looked deeper, you’ll have discovered that they’re a lot more than random and, like so many non-representational styles, they have much more to say to the subconscious than you expect.
Pollock’s work was always abstract and he also veered towards Surrealism. One of his early influences was the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and this, approximately, is where we come in. Mural is an epic piece created in 1943 so, early in Pollock’s career and it predicated the scale, complexity and energy that was to be such a feature of his later work. The shapes and forms, internal perspective and colour pre-date the drip paintings, but the style is recognisable.
This is much more than a book about one painting, though, and David Anfam uses it as a starting point for an examination of the whole of Pollock’s work, illustrating a range of pieces that will almost certainly re-evaluate your view of the artist.
Pollock was a complex man and a painter of complexity. As well as getting inside his artistic style, the book also offers a way into his mind. Mural is a major work that is central to any understanding of Jackson Pollock. It is in many ways the key that unlocks everything else and David Anfam opens up a whole world.
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