Jackson Pollock

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Jan 24, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages

Jackson Pollock (1912–1956) not only put American art on the map with his famous "drip paintings," he also served as an inspiration for the character of Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire—the role that made Marlon Brando famous. Like Brando, Pollock became an icon of rebellion in 1950s America, and the brooding, defiant persona captured in photographs of the artist contributed to his celebrity almost as much as his notorious paintings did. In the years since his death in a drunken car crash, Pollock's hold on the public imagination has only increased. He has become an enduring symbol of the tormented artist—our American van Gogh.

In this highly engaging book, Evelyn Toynton examines Pollock's itinerant and poverty-stricken childhood in the West, his encounters with contemporary art in Depression-era New York, and his years in the run-down Long Island fishing village that, ironically, was transformed into a fashionable resort by his presence. Placing the artist in the context of his time, Toynton also illuminates the fierce controversies that swirled around his work and that continue to do so. Pollock's paintings captured the sense of freedom and infinite possibility unique to the American experience, and his life was both an American rags-to-riches story and a darker tale of the price paid for celebrity, American style.

 

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Contents

Chapter One
1
Chapter Two
12
Chapter Three
28
Chapter Four
40
Chapter Five
49
Chapter Six
61
Chapter Seven
75
Chapter Eight
85
Chapter Nine
98
Chapter Ten
104
Chapter Eleven
113
Acknowledgments
123
Notes
125
Bibliography
131
Index
137
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

DIVEvelyn Toynton's work has appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, and The American Scholar. Her novel Modern Art, loosely based on the story of Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel, The Oriental Wife, has just been published. She lives in Norfolk, England./div

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