There’s an overlooked reason for Pollock’s fame. Even if you love him, you might not know the name of the man who made him famous.
Jackson Pollock is one of the 20th century’s most famous artists. But do you know the critic who made his reputation?
Clement Greenberg is a well-known name in the art world, but not necessarily to art fans. However, he earned a reputation as one of the most influential art critics in the 20th century, whose legacy included the canonization of Jackson Pollock.
Abstract expressionist art needed vocal champions to support challenging, unique work, and Greenberg was the most powerful and vocal in his defense of the art and, in particular, Jackson Pollock. Greenberg went from tie salesman to intellectual in less than a decade, thanks to strongly worded arguments for a new artform. Jackson Pollock was one of his favorite artists, and the two spent time together socially as they simultaneously climbed in the art world.
Is Clement Greenberg the reason that Jackson Pollock is so famous? He’s definitely a part of it — and understanding the role of Greenberg and critics like him can be a useful tool to understanding art in the 20th century.
Overrated is a series that takes a look at the things we all know — the books, the trends, and the ideas that have become iconic — and answers the question: “Why is this so famous"?
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Claude Monet - La Gare Saint Lazare, hosted at The National Gallery, London narrated by Jarvis Cocker
Discover why Cocker compares Claude Monet’s La Gare Saint Lazare (The National Gallery, London) to an 80’s horror movie and an ACDC concert, and listen to him explain why Impressionism is called what it is.
Find out more on https://g.co/ArtZoom Listen and keep your eyes peeled as iconic music figures take you on a tour of some of the greatest masterpieces of the world in Art Zoom. Zoom into La Gare Saint-Lazare here: http://bit.ly/2XiMBsN
Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel, hosted at Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien narrated by Feist
As well as telling us the story behind Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Babel Tower (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien), discover why Feist compares the renaissance artist and his contemporaries to the indie folk-pop duo Kings of Convenience and singer, songwriter and activist, Chance the Rapper.
Find out more on https://g.co/ArtZoom Listen and keep your eyes peeled as iconic music figures take you on a tour of some of the greatest masterpieces of the world in Art Zoom. Zoom into the Tower of Babel here: http://bit.ly/2XJHPRU
Jonathan Wateridge's paintings are elaborately crafted 'non-events' that have the trappings of a real occurrence but for the most part are entirely fabricated.
A significant part of his work over recent years has been to reconfigure or re-make a given scenario or found image. This involves building full-scale sets and using performers to enact roles, within the context of the studio, in order to set up questions about the way we frame and understand notions of the real.
His work initially employed painterly realism as a 'default setting' by which to view the world, curbing any excesses of style to emphasise not only the often fleeting, banal and everyday quality of the scenes depicted but also the nature of their construction.
More recently, this has given way to an increasingly lyrical use of paint which explores the tension between the social dimension of the figuration and the more formal and expressive qualities of the work.
‘My paintings have no titles because I do not wish them to be considered illustrations or pictorial puzzles’, Still wrote. ‘If properly made visible they speak for themselves.’ In a letter discussing this work, he explained that the red at the lower edge was intended to contrast with and therefore emphasise the depths of the blue. He saw the yellow wedge at the top as ‘a reassertion of the human context - a gesture of rejection of any authoritarian rationale or system of politico-dialectical dogma.’
Illustrator Dean Rohrer has been playing around with an American classic. Using Photoshop, he has been taking the figures out of Edward Hopper paintings. His thinking is formal--do the paintings work when you take the supposed subject out? It turns out they do.
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin - Still life with lilac (1928)
Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin, Russian: Кузьма Сергеевич Петров-Водкин (November 5, 1878 – February 15, 1939) was an important Russian and Soviet painter and writer and one of the leading lights of Russian early-20th-century art. He is best known today for his brazen palette of primary colours, unconventional high-angle viewpoints, and his mastery of optical illusions. Still Life with Lilac — painted at the height of his career in 1928 — is a powerful example of his signature style. It also offers, thanks to infrared technology, a fascinating glimpse of how the artist tailored his style to the post-revolution Soviet regime.
The composition is dominated by a freshly cut lilac in a glass of water, and includes a crystal inkwell, a copy of the January 1925 issue of L’Art Vivant — a Parisian bi-monthly art magazine in which Petrov-Vodkin gave an interview about his artistic innovations — fallen leaves, a matchbox and a letter, all arranged on a deep-blue tablecloth.
The picture bears a striking resemblance to a later, well-known painting by the same artist, Branch of a Bird Cherry Tree in a Glass (1932), which is in the collection of The State Russian Museum in St Petersburg.
Branch of a Bird Cherry Tree in a Glass is not only one of Petrov-Vodkin’s most recognisable works, it is also a very familiar image in Russian art (largely thanks to its usage as a postcard). Up until recently, the St Petersburg painting was thought to be the only version of this composition.
He was born at Leipzig in the former German Democratic Republic. The son of a Communist official, he grew up in a home in which Communism assumed the power of a religion. He studied from the mid-1990s at the Hochschule der Künste where he was a master student of Georg Baselitz in Berlin and at the Salzburg Summer Academy in the class of Jim Dine.
His work is greatly influenced by the socialist realism which was the official art of the GDR. In recent years he has shifted to darker themes of disaster, disease and decapitation while retaining the consummate painterliness which is the hallmark of his work. His figures, in many cases are floating, falling, tumbling, without any gravitational axis. The tumult surrounding the figures is punctuated by the cross pollination of cues from Christian ideology, art history, gay culture, pornography and apocalyptic visions. Bisky transmits an impression of instability on the canvas that distinctly resonates with our contemporary state of affairs.