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  • Phyllis Pantazis

Jackson Pollock aka Jack the Dripper


Jackson Pollock was an American painter who was born on January 28, 1912, in Cody, Wyoming. He was the fifth and youngest son of Stella May McClure and LeRoy Pollock. He was known for his "drip technique" of pouring or splashing paint onto a horizontal surface. Originally, he was named Paul Jackson pollock, but he later changed it to Jackson Pollock. He was also called colloquially “Jack the Dripper” due to his unique painting style.

In 1928 Jackson and his family moved to Los Angles, where he enrolled at Manual Arts High School. Two years after, he followed his brother Charles to New York City where he enrolled in the Art Student League. Jackson did not have much money, so he was forced to move in with his brothers - first with Charles in 1934, then with his brother Sanford until 1942. During that time, he worked on the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project from 1935 until 1942 and in David Alfaro Siqueiros’s experimental workshop in New York in 1936. In 1943 his life started to change due to Peggy Guggenheim giving him a contract that lasted through 1947, allowing him to put all his time into painting without worrying about money. In the same year, his first solo show was held at Guggenheim's Art of This Century in New York. Later he married Lee Krasner who was a painter herself and known for her abstract expressionist art. They lived together in the Springs, East Hampton, New York.

Jackson was included in many group exhibitions, including the Whitney Annual from 1946 and the Venice Biennale in 1950. In 1947, his “drip style” using sticks, trowels, or knives to drip and splatter paint, as well as pouring paint directly from the can, appeared. Instead of using an easel he laid out the canvas unstretched on the floor and moved his whole body to create his artworks. He used an incredible amount of control to create thinner, thicker and lighter lines with faster and slower movements.

His drips, also called “action paintings,” revolutionized the potential for contemporary art and furthered the development of abstract expressionism. Although Jacksons work was widely known and showed internationally, he never traveled outside the United States. He died on August 11, 1956, when he crashed his Oldsmobile convertible into a tree while driving at high speed under the influence of alcohol. The accident happened less than a mile from his home

in Long Island, New York. He was 44. Jackson had a troubled short life, struggling for years with alcoholism, expelled from two high schools, and later living for a while in near poverty.


1 interesting fact about Jackson pollock

In 2006, Jackson's Nr. 5, 1948 became one of the 10 most expensive painting, when it was sold for $140 million.

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