|Photographer Hans Namuth extensively documented Pollock's unique painting techniques.|
January 28, 1912|
Cody, Wyoming, U.S.
|Died||August 11, 1956
Springs, New York, U.S.
|Training||Art Students League of New York|
|Influenced by||Thomas Hart Benton, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró|
Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was an American painter. He became famous for painting in the abstract expressionist style. Pollock's most famous paintings were made by dripping and splashing paint on a large canvas. His nickname was Jack the Dripper. Because of the method, this style is often called action painting. Pollock was helped by his wife, artist Lee Krasner, and his style was very new at the time.
His paintings are in museums all over the world, and his work is rated very highly. Pollock has been the subject of many movies because of his interesting life. Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming. On August 11, 1956, at 10:15 pm, aged 44, Pollock died in a single-car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible.
The unique technique
Pollock was introduced to the use of liquid paint in 1936 at an experimental workshop operated in New York City. He later used paint pouring as one of several techniques on canvases of the early 1940s." After his move to New York, he began painting with his canvases laid out on the studio floor, and he developed what was later called his drip technique.
By defying the convention of painting on an upright surface, he added a new dimension, literally, by being able to view and apply paint to his canvases from all directions.
Pollock's most famous paintings were made during the "drip period" between 1947 and 1950. He rocketed to fame following an August 8, 1949 four-page spread in Life magazine that asked, "Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?" At the peak of his fame, Pollock abruptly abandoned the drip style.
In 1973, Number 11, 1952 (also known as Blue Poles) was purchased by the Australian Whitlam government for the National Gallery of Australia for US$2 million (A$1.3 million at the time of payment). At the time, this was the highest price ever paid for a modern painting. The painting is now one of the most popular exhibits in the gallery.
In November 2006, Pollock's No. 5, 1948 became the world's most expensive painting, when it was sold by Sotheby's for (price adjusted) US$163.8 million dollars. Another artist record was established in 2004, when No. 12 (1949), fetched $11.7 million. In 2012, Number 28, 1951, sold for $20.5 million—$23 million.
In 2013, Pollock's Number 19 (1948) was sold for a reported $58,363,750 during an auction that ultimately reached $495 million total sales in one night which Christie's reports as a record to date as the most expensive auction of contemporary art. In February 2016 it was reported that Number 17A sold for $200 million.
The Pollock-Krasner House and Studio is owned and administered by the Stony Brook Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of Stony Brook University. Regular tours of the house and studio occur from May through October.
Images for kids
Jackson Pollock Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.