To a Violent Grave: An Oral Biography of Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock, Other G. P. Putnam's Sons $0 (303p) ISBN 978-0-399-12910-0
That Pollock was a mean-spirited drunk, a fast, reckless driver, parasitical toward his brother, and abusive to women is abundantly clear from this ""oral biography.'' Potter, who knew the artist for seven years in East Hampton, has interviewed some 150 peoplefamily members, fellow painters, art dealers, critics, neighbors, roommates, lovers. This chorus of voices, quoted in round-robin fashion, sound off at each juncture in Pollock's obsessively driven, alcoholic existence. It's good gossip, but Potter (author of Men, Money and Magic) never really ties the recollections together so that we can understand how Pollock transcended a messy life to create lyrical paintings of the unconscious. Even the thoughtful reminiscences often seem like pop psychoanalyzing (Clement Greenberg says, ``He was so helpless, he expected you to feel sorry for him''). De Kooning, Motherwell and Rivers lead the cast of characters. Photos. December 16
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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