Tag Archives: art

The Pollock Code

ARTNews reports on a scholar who points out that in Jackson Pollock’s “Mural,” a breakthrough work for Pollock, you can make out the letters of his name.

Henry Adams says the appearance of the letters makes sense in terms of Pollock’s intention for the mural to be an advertisement for himself, a big declaration of his arrival. Stefan Nafieh, Pollock’s biographer, makes the obvious point: “A hundred people might find 50 different words—and hundreds of different images—in this or any of Pollock’s later work.”

Aside from that first, very unvertical, “l” and that unorthodox “k,” those patterns look to me like a groove Jackson Pollock automatically fell into, so that he ended yup writing his name without anyone noticing that he was writing Jackson Pollock.It’s hard to make random, primal brush strokes and not find yourself tracing the familiar path of your own name. Ask any doodler. Ask me. The first shapes I could draw that had any significance to me have a magnetic draw on my pen.  You’d expect Pollock to have to unlearn how to trace out jackson pollock in big letters as he got better and more comfortable with his style.

ARTnews.

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