1.) What is Abstract Expressionism?
Though trained in a traditionally representational manner, Pollock later achieved pure abstraction and it is this for which he is most (in)famous. Take a close look at his painting Autumn Rhythm (No 30)
(Links to an external site.)
. (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/488978 )Clearly this is a work of art whose appearance and process of execution breaks with many of the conventions that had previously governed the visual arts in the Western world.
To better understand this painting, be able to identity the visible signs that indicate the process Pollock used to create it. What did Pollock do and what did he not do? What did he control and what did he not control?
Pay careful attention both to what you observe in Pollock’s working method and how he describes his own process of creation. What kinds of motions, gestures, actions, and movements do you observe? How is this painting process reflected in the final product? To what degree are his paintings unplanned and impulsive, or calculated and intentional?
2.) How did people respond to paintings like these?
read two pieces of mid-twentieth century art criticism that strive to contextualize Pollock’s achievement in terms of the rapid development of mid twentieth-century artistic production
3.) How does Pollock’s example teach us to look at other works of Abstract Expressionism?
For this final part of your preparation for this essay, please consider the painting below.
For your essay,
1.) Do you find Hans Hofmann’s and Jackson Pollock’s paintings to exhibit more similarities to each other or more differences? Be specific! (There is no correct answer, only correct ways of providing an answer.)
2.) Do you think Hofmann’s painting better matches Greenberg’s or Rosenberg’s interpretation of Abstract Expressionism?
As before, you may be tempted to respond to each of these questions individually, but the most successful essays—those that stand the best chance of getting full credit—will integrate responses into a single cohesive response. Remember, the point of these essays is to challenge you to engage in deep analysis of both the images and the texts, and this should be reflected in your writing!
Your essay must be at least two full pages in length to receive minimum credit—but in many cases the best essays could be longer than that.
You must submit your essay electronically through “Assignments” on the course Canvas site.
Your essay must be reflective—not a mere summary of the text(s) and image(s)—to receive minimum credit.
You must make specific references to both the text(s) and image(s) if you want to receive more than minimum credit.
Your grade will be based on both the quality of your response and the quality of your writing.
this abstract expressionist painting by Hans Hofmann.
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