Tag Archive | "Jackson Pollock"

Back by Popular Demand, the Jackson Pollock Studio Croc

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Jackson Pollock Studio Crocs on the studio floor. Photo crocs.com.

Jackson Pollock Studio Crocs on the studio floor. Photo crocs.com.

By Tessa Raebeck

After selling out shortly following their introduction last summer, the Jackson Pollock Studio Croc is back at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in Springs. The shoes’ design is derived from a photo taken of Mr. Pollock’s studio floor during the “drip period” between 1947 and 1950, when he created his most famous abstract expressionist paintings. Along with wife Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock painted in his local studio up until his death in Springs in August 1956.

With a dark base colorfully splattered with blues, reds, greens and yellows, the clogs have a recognizable Jackson Pollock design. The strap reads, “Jackson Pollock Studios” using the artist’s signature for his name’s typeface. Prompted by “rave reviews and customer demand,” according to the center, Crocs reissued the artsy shoes in limited edition, with just 5,000 pairs available for purchase.

Crocs collaborated with the Stony Brook Foundation, which supports the center, to create the design. The Jackson Pollock Studio Clog can be purchased for $39.99 at crocs.com.

Open from May to October, the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center is located at 830 Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton. For more information, visit here or call 631.324.4929.

Borrowing from Pollock

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Richard Prince By

By Andrew Rudansky

Guild Hall is opening its doors to famed artist Richard Prince this Saturday, August 13, for a premier of his new collection. The show entitled, “Covering Pollock,” uses photographs of the artist Jackson Pollock as both inspiration and canvas, while expressing Prince’s unique perspective on how to approach art.

Prince, born in Panama in 1949, works in a multi-media format with extensive usage of appropriated images. As an appropriation artist, he takes found imagery and puts it into his own original compositions.

This collection, which he has been working on since 2009, is comprised of 27 new works that have never been shown publicly. By combining acrylic paint, with photographs of famous pop icons, commercial pornography, canceled checks and other recognizable imagery, Prince is able to compress and then channel popular culture through his original artwork.

Prince uses stark photographs of Jackson Pollack and his wife Lee Krasner at their East Hampton home as templates on which to build. His paintings can be seen as commentary of both Pollack himself and the concept of the artist in general.

Christina Mossaides Strassfield, museum director and chief curator for Guild Hall said that the show will be infused with a fair dose of pop culture, it will feature “a lot of images that are recognizable to the public…Jackson Pollack at work, images from art history books, as well as photos of musicians and models.”

The work itself is presented mostly in black and white, with little color added. This austere lack of color projects a sense of moroseness to the viewer; this somber feeling hangs over much of Prince’s work. In many of the photos, Pollock is partially or completely obstructed by other images. His simultaneous presence and hidden nature in the collection is reflective of Pollock’s own personality; that of the famous recluse.

On top of the photos of Pollock are photos of deceased punk legend Sid Vicious, British model Kate Moss, as well as images of vintage pornography. The artist has said that he included these images because of his interest in imagining what Pollock would be doing and who he would be as an artist if he was alive today.

The juxtaposition of photographs creates a conversation between the subjects. Pollock as a celebrity, as a hero, as a pariah and as a subversive.

One work in the collection in particular, “Untitled (Covering Pollock)” — none of the paintings in the collection have individual names — seems to capture the urgency and voyeurism present in the entire collection. The painting uses the iconic 1956 photo of Pollock’s flipped over car on Fireplace Road, East Hampton as a base. The car is framed in the lower right of the painting, and surrounded by smaller photos of Pollock and Krasner. The resulting image is confrontational and engaging, allowing the viewer a window into Pollock’s untimely death.

Pollock is not the only East End artist that has given inspiration to Prince. Starting in 2007, he used Pollock’s friend Willem de Kooning to create another series of appropriation artwork.

“It was time to pay homage to an artist I really like. Some people worship at the altar — I believe in de Kooning,” Prince said at the 2011 opening of his de Kooning inspired show. Strassfield said that this current exhibit is very much in the same vein as the de Kooning show, and if that show was his homage to de Kooning, this show opening Saturday would certainly be his homage to Pollock.

Strassfield called Richard Prince one of the preeminent appropriation artists, an artist who has focused his talents into creating thought provoking artwork since the late 1970s.

“He is one of the leaders of [the appropriation] movement,” Strassfield said. “His work is eye opening…the public will be very interested to see it.”

Prince’s works have been featured in various museums around the country; highlights include exhibits at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, as well as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Prince also received the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner in the Visual Arts from Guild Hall in 2009.

The show runs from Saturday, August 13 until October 17 at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton. This Sunday, August 14, there will be a Guild Hall “Members Preview” from 4-5 p.m. and a free public opening reception from 5-6 p.m. After the night of the opening, there will be a $7 suggested donation for non-members to view the exhibit. Guild Hall also wishes to advise that the exhibit will feature mature content. For more information about the show please contact Guild Hall at 324-0806 or go on their website at GuildHall.org.

Jackson in the Box

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Pollock Box

By Annette Hinkle

While exposing children to great works of art can be a marvelous educational tool in and of itself, there’s nothing quite like learning by doing to take enthusiasm and understanding of a subject to a whole other level. For some time now, youngsters who tour the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in Springs as part of a school group or while on summer vacation have been invited to try their hand at making poured paintings on the lawn, just like those of Jackson Pollock the famed abstract expressionist who once lived there.

While not every child is fortunate to have an opportunity to create art at Pollock’s house, “The Jackson Pollock Box” a new book and art kit just out by Cider Mill Press offers young people everywhere the chance to learn more about the artist and experiment with the unique techniques he perfected while living here on the East End.

The box, which is covered by a reproduction of “Number One, 1949,” comes with a brush, canvas, paper and a selection of squeeze bottles filled with liquid paints similar to those that Pollock would have used. Helen Harrison, director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center wrote the book that accompanies the box. In it, she offers details of Pollock’s life, including his early artistic influences, his working methods, various critics’ takes on his work, and his relationship with Lee Krasner, because, Harrison notes, “you can’t understand him without knowing something about her.”
She adds that the book doesn’t shy away from the more difficult aspects of Pollock’s life.

“He was an alcoholic for his whole life and suffered from depression and mood swings,” says Harrison. “Those things went away in the studio. He said that ‘Paintings’ not the problem. It’s what to do when I’m not painting.’”

Though it is geared toward ages 14 and up, largely because of the content of the book, Harrison feels that children as young as 10 will enjoy creating their own Pollock inspired art. Directions for five projects, all based on Pollock’s working methods, are detailed in the book — from visualization of a mood or feeling, to the creation of gesture drawings, a collage piece, or painting on glass (as Pollock did during Hans Namuth’s 1950 film of the artist at work — though for the kit, the “glass” is actually the plastic on the front of the box).

Harrison notes that it young artists aren’t happy with their results, they are encouraged to reuse those parts of the project. After all, she says, Krasner and Pollock never threw anything away, and frequently reused failed drawings by cutting them up as collage pieces.

“The art is so participatory and physical,” says Harrison. “You really manipulate the materials in a dynamic way. There are plenty of art kits where you get a paint kit and brush and do your own. But this gives you a different approach.”

That different approach goes to the heart of understanding Pollock’s motivation and what he was looking to capture in his own work.
“It’s about painting intangibles,” explains Harrison. “In traditional painting you represent something— a still life or a face. But this is not about that at all. It’s totally different. You make a visual equivalent of something you can’t see or touch, or feel — a mood, sound or experience.”

Harrison explains that while Pollock found liquid paint was the vehicle that ultimately took him where he needed to go in his work, another artist might just as easily have found a different way.

“Pollock said, ‘Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement,’” says Harrison. “It was the statement that interested Pollock. The materials are just the instrument — the result was what mattered.”

Though the art box will be distributed across the country, because both Pollock and Krasner’s art work was so intimately connected to where they lived, Harrison felt it was important to include a section in the book about their home and studio.

“The fact they both had their break-throughs as artists when they moved to Springs tells you something about how important the environment was for them as artists, not just people,” explains Harrison. “It was an important break from the city, it opened their eyes aesthetically and took them in new directions which was crucial.”

Helen Harrison will be at Guild Hall (158 Main Street, East Hampton) on Saturday, December 18 at 11 a.m. to sign copies of “The Jackson Pollock Box.”

Artists’ View Preserved for Painters, Kayackers or Those Who Just Want to Reflect

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By Emily J Weitz

When you walk through the austere halls of the Museum of Modern Art and come upon a massive Pollock, it stops you dead in your tracks. But when you step out into Pollock’s back yard and soak in the striking blue of the water on a clear day, bright green stalks of grass shooting towards the sky, that’s when you really get it. The Pollock-Krasner House isn’t devoted directly to the paintings that its legendary inhabitants created. It is instead devoted to the people, and to the world that inspired them. And this month, this natural world celebrates a major victory. The final parcel of land within the viewing corridor of the Pollock-Krasner House has, after a two year struggle, been successfully preserved. What this means is that there is no risk that one day the view from Pollock’s writing shed — where egrets once nested — will offer  McMansions and their obligatory yachts. What this means is that when an aspiring artist makes his long way to the house of his hero, he will see what his hero saw. The same blue of the water, the same stillness on a gray day.

And make no mistake: Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner were deeply inspired by the pristine environment that surrounded their Springs home. Helen Harrison, Director of the Pollock-Krasner House, called their move to the East End “decisive… Moving here was their breakthrough.” Before they moved to the area, they were living on East 8th Street in Manhattan. “They were both being influenced by many ideas that were whirling around New York,” says Harrison. Pollock’s work was “dark and congested.” And Lee Krasner said of her own work at the time that she felt like she was painting the same thing again and again, and it always ended up looking “like mud”. Harrison says authoritatively that within six months of moving out here, “Krasner was doing beautiful, bright, colorful work inspired by the night sky and by what she was experiencing.” Pollock’s work opened up as well. The first series he painted in the house was called “The Accabonac Creek Series”, and although you won’t find the creek or the landscape in his abstract work, you will see “brighter colors, open composition, and an upbeat mood,” says Harrison. “Almost the day they moved here, his work changed.”

Last Sunday supporters of the Pollock-Krasner House gathered together to celebrate this happy occasion. The donors, whose combined efforts made the purchase possible, included the Cape Branch Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, the Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Foundation, the Stony Brook Foundation, the Accabonac Protection Committee, the Town of East Hampton, and a number of generous individuals. On a perfect autumn day, they stood in Jackson and Lee’s back yard, drinking in the delicious environment: the trees, the water, the great blue herons. A deer bounded away from the crowd with so much space to run that she just got smaller and smaller as she made her way towards the sparkling blue water. Looking across the rolling yard towards the barn where Pollock created almost all of his masterpieces, one could really identify with the desire to take the overwhelming sensory experience of nature and translate it into something tangible. Both Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner were gifted at doing so.

Marcia Gay Harden, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Lee Krasner in the 2000 film “Pollock”, was the guest of honor on Sunday. She took the podium and looked out at the small, attentive crowd, and the backdrop of Accabonac Harbor behind them. “It’s wonderful to be back here,” she said. “When Ed [Harris] and I first came here, it was a magical time. We were able to see what Jackson and Lee saw. We were here, in their home, with the same trees that they were with… I laid in Lee’s bed and fingered the artifacts, and from that experience came a truth, a veracity [in the portrayal of Lee].”

And this deep understanding that Marcia Gay Harden got from lying in Lee’s bed is the same feeling visitors can get by looking through their record collection, noting the books on the shelves, the splattered paint on the floor of Jackson’s studio. And now, and always, it’s the kind of feeling visitors get by standing in their back yard in the waning light of day, in the shadow of the trees that shaded them, looking out at beautiful, timeless Accabonac Harbor.

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A View From the Water

The two-and-a-half acres of woods, meadows, and wetlands that have been protected through this acquisition hug the shoreline of Accabonac Harbor. Before coming to the celebratory party, Nancy Nagel Kelly, Director of the Nature Conservancy on Long Island, spent her afternoon kayaking these waters, as she’s done many times before.

“The most striking thing you experience when you head out on a kayak on Accabonac Harbor is how much natural, undisturbed shoreline there is. You’re in an intimate setting with nature. All you see is blue and green.”

At this time of year you’ll notice Great Blue Herons and Great and Snowy Egrets perched in the tall green grasses while terns dart across sandy beaches and cormorants dry their feathers in the breeze. Mike Bottini, East End naturalist and writer, adds that, as we move further into autumn, the palette of the setting will deepen to include the marsh’s warm fall colors, like the crimson red of Salicornia, the purple flowers of sea lavender and salt marsh asters, and the golden browns of the Spartina grasses. Through these grasses you might find a lone clammer wading, spotted turtles swimming, or a young family catching minnows in a small net.

“Accabonac Harbor is one of my favorite places to paddle,” says Bottini, “with lots of small embayments, peninsulas, and an island to explore.” He points out that the town has done a great job over the past 25 to 30 years buying up vacant lots and protecting them, allowing the ecosystem to remain intact. “Those efforts have also been a key factor in making Accabonac a beautiful place to paddle, and an inspiring place for artists to paint and photograph. In fact, just yesterday I saw a local artist painting the autumn scene in East Harbor, a narrow embayment of Accabonac that runs along Louse Point Road.”

Whether you’re in a kayak, at an easel, or on foot, exploring this area will drop you right into the heart of nature. To be in East Hampton’s most densely populated hamlet and still feel like the only person on Earth is a testament to the tireless work of decades of people who have devoted themselves to preservation.