Jackson Pollock's Mural: The Transitional Moment

Yvonne Szafran, Laura Rivers, Alan Phenix, Tom Learner, Ellen G. Landau, and Steve Martin. J. Paul Getty Trust, $29.95 (124p) ISBN 978-1-60606-323-1
Using the recent conservation effort as jumping off point, this book serves to deconstruct Jackson Pollock's renowned Mural, which was the abstract expressionist artist's first major commission. The authors situate this wall-size painting as a formative work for the then relatively-unknown painter and proceed to analyze it using a combination of anecdote, art historical analysis, scientific imaging. There's a familiar discussion of possible artistic influences, including German artist Paul Klee and British printmaker Stanley William Hayter; however, this speculation pales in comparison to the new information provided by scans and sample analysis. Analytical imaging reveals 25 separate paint applications in a 356 square-inch section of the nearly 20 foot long canvas, while hyperspectral imaging shows the area and shape in which Pollock inscribed distinct colors. Several cross-sections of paint layers are printed in the book, providing intimate topographical views of the painting. The probing investigation into Mural sheds new light on Pollock's work process and approach to paint, and offers a rare close-up look at an influential work. Color photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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