The term modern art is frequently related with art in which the customs of the past have been thrown away in a spirit of trialing. It includes artistic works produced between 1860s to the 1970s and denotes the manner and philosophy of art created during that era. According to Chipp et al.,(18), the modern artists experiment with fresh ways of seeing and with bright ideas about the nature of resources and functions of art. There is change from the narrative way characteristic for the traditional arts, to abstractionist characteristic of much modern art. The modern art production according to Chipp et al.,(48), is frequently called postmodern or contemporary art.
Pollock is a biographical film which gives the life story of an American painter Jackson Pollock. Pollock is an abstract expressionist born at Cody. As an artist, he revolutionized American painting with abstract canvases in 1940, which used splattered and dripped paint in a physical and structurally intelligent manner(Pollock and Wysuph ,68). This controversially incorporated the ideas of gravity and chance into the creation process. Pollock was born in Cody on Jan. 28, 1912 and was killed in an automobile accident on Aug 11, 1956, at East Hampton, New York.
Pollock was manic-depressant, alcoholic and often irrepressible, irate and an apprehensive man. Nevertheless, when he painted, he found a feeling of peace and freedom, a release from his sadness and anger. The movie is in essence trying to give an insight into the way the art affected the artist. The movie shows the latter years of Pollock’s life where he rises to fame as a painter and struggles with life as his violent nature, alcoholism and ego puts him down bit by bit(Pollock and Wysuph ,18). Lee Krasner stands by him and often takes care of him. She was also a painter and eventually become Pollock’s lover, wife, and biggest supporter.
Although Lee was well aware of Pollock’s conflicts, she always put aside her own desires and aspirations. She acknowledged his ability and vividness as an artist and wanted to see him thrive, forfeiting her own livelihood. The film shows how Pollock’s radiant talent and erratic behavior paradoxically gained him prominence and cost him his downfall.
Pollock began to put his canvas on the floor and drip paint onto it in stages after numerous years of semiabstract work motivated by psychotherapy. This process allowed him to record scope and force of his gestures in trajectories of aluminum or enamel paint that obscure the abstract elements found in his earlier effort. The results were vast areas covered with vibrant and complex linear patterns that blend form and image and engulf the revelation of the spectator in their scale and intricacy (Pollock and Wysuph ,38). He alleged that art resulted from the unconscious and compared his work to that of others on its inherent legitimacy of personal expression. He became popular as the chief practitioner of abstract expressionism, particularly the type known as action painting. Championed by opponents like Clement Greenberg and others, he became an icon. When he died in a car accident at age 44, he was recognized as the gaze of 20th century masters of modern art(Pollock and Wysuph ,58).
The idea of Avant-garde by Rosenberg and Greenberg refers to art works that are experimental or modern. It represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the standard in the cultural realm. Many artists like Pollock have associated themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so. It aims at promoting radical social reforms. Ultimately, avant-garde became allied with movements concerned with art for art's sake, focusing mainly on growing the frontiers of visual experience, rather than with wider social development.
Rosenberg and Greenberg are known for promotion of the abstract expressionist movement. They were among the earliest published critics to commend the work of painter Jackson Pollock. Greenberg regarded the pioneers of the concept of abstract expressionism as highly original artists. However he thought that the tradition had been reduced through it and hence hoped that the younger generation would maintain the purity of two-dimensional painting. Post painterly abstraction was developed, and it entails a range of second generation conceptual art that reacted in opposition to the earlier abstract expressionists.