Jackson Pollock (geb 1912 Cody Wyoming USA - 1956 Southampton USA)

Studium in Los Angeles 1925-1927 und New York(1930-1933); in den dreißiger Jahren durch die späten kubistischen Bilder P. Picassos angeregt; Beschäftigung mit der Psychologie. Seit 1940 abstrakte Bilder (Mural, 1943); seit 1946 Action painting; 1950-1951 fast ausschließlich Schwarzweißbilder. Kennzeichnend für P. sind die Tropftechnik («dripping») und die Ausdehnung der Bildformate auf friesartige Breite (One, Number 31, 1950, 269 x 531 cm), die er im dynamischen, sich «automatistisch» vollziehenden Schaffensprozeß mit geflechtartig sich überlagernden Farbspuren überzog. Wichtigster Vertreter des Abstrakten Expressionismus.

Jackson Pollock, who has been referred to as "probably the most famous American artist of the twentieth century,"1 was born on January 28, 1912 in Cody, Wyoming. Pollock's mother, Stella May McClure Pollock, was known to be ambitious and controlling of her five sons; his father, LeRoy Pollock, was constantly on the move in search of employment. In 1912 the family moved to San Diego, California, then to Phoenix, Arizona in 1913, and in 1914 to Chico, California where Pollock attended primary schools. He studied in Los Angeles at the Manual Arts School in 1928, then as a student of Thomas Hart Benton and Robert Laurens (in sculpture) at the Art Students League in New York from 1930 to 1933. He married Elizabeth England in 1931. From 1930 he lived and worked in New York, travelling extensively in the US from 1931 to 1934. He was associated with the Easel and Mural Divisions of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project from 1935 to 1942. In 1945 Pollock married Lee Krasner, also a well-known American painter.

Pollock is featured on a thirty-three cent stamp as part of the "Celebrate the Century" series. Although a heavy smoker, that image of Pollock, taken from a 1949 photograph, was altered so that the cigarette which, customarily dangled from his mouth, would not appear. A victim of acute alcoholism, Pollock died tragically August 11, 1956 when, having lost control of his car, he was thrown against an oak tree. He died instantly from the resulting skull fracture.


1. Justin Spring, The Essential Jackson Pollock  (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998) n.p.