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Jackson Pollock Hardcover – April 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810984962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984967
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 12 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The role of art historian as biographer is beset with contradictions, an artist's life and art being neither mutually exclusive nor synonymous. Balanced in his life on the edge of destruction and in his art on that of innovation, Pollock mirrored a chaotic world, one in which humans seemed to have lost control. Less gossipy than Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith's Jackson Pollock ( LJ 8/89), this book treats Pollock's personal life, creative work, and cultural milieu as discrete elements that produce a gradually developing image, not always in accord with the public's view of Pollock as rebellious cowboy or counterculture loner. Pollock was the major force behind the transfer of avant-garde art from France to the United States and the American idiom in which it was expressed. This "American Prometheus" is well served by this elegantly illustrated, carefully annotated, and well-written work. Recommended for all art libraries and large general collections.
- Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around in it, work from the four sides and be literally 'in' the painting." --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I would recommend this book to any Pollock enthusiast.
Steve seneca
Landau includes sufficient biographical information to help the reader appreciate the paintings.
Charles S. Houser
Such a great book; the plates are amazing fold outs included!
R. Meyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By christopher wren on August 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Before Varnedoe and Karmel's Pollock monograph, which accompanied the MOMA / Tate retrospective a few yeas ago, this was the best available text-and-plates book about Pollock. In terms of its text, this book is still relevant and insightful. Like Elizabeth Frank, Landau does a lot of truly eye-opening comparison work throughout her book. She'll reprint a work by Picasso, say, or a Native American artifact, or a Pollock sketch, and then analyze the influence it exerted on one of Pollock's key canvases.
And unlike the Varnedoe/Karmel book, this volume reprints these several kinds of works in close proximity, often on the same or a facing page, a useful feature. Landau's remarks about Pollock's sources, outcomes, growth and directions are always at least provocative and often really instructive, particularly in her coverage of the late black paintings. Indeed, Landau's analysis is regularly listed and praised in other authors' bibliographies.
The drawbacks of the book are its numerous poor reproductions, and plates after all make the primary reason for buying an artist monograph. Many of the plates are excellent and crisp--"Lucifer," "Pasiphae," "Autumn Rhythm," the colorful, playful works following Pollock's marriage. But too many of the plates and fold-outs are muddy, and Pollock's use of silver or aluminum paint is simply beyond this book's ability--as with the gaudy and over-exposed looking gatefold that opens the book. "Blue Poles" and "Stenographic Figure" are among the book's other poor reprints. Until I saw the Varnedoe/Karmel reprint of "One: Number 31, 1950," and then again in "person" at the MOMA, I just flatly didn't understand how Pollock had approached it.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This intelligent and lavishly illustrated volume, which first appeared in a 1989 hardcover edition, covers Pollock's entire career, his early influences, and the progression of the themes, techniques, and accomplishments of his life as an artist. Ellen Landau's text is enlightening, but the best part of this book is, inevitably, the illustrations themselves, which are an unparalleled feast for the eyes. For those who want to experience and understand Pollock's art (rather than dwell on his personal problems) this is an excellent choice.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Houser VINE VOICE on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I strongly disagree with another Amazon reviewer who said the quality of the art reproductions in Landau's biography varied. As someone who has bought a lot of art books, I thought the color plates exceptionally vivid and a more than adequate basis for studying Pollock's work in light of Ellen Landau's insightful commentary. Every major work is presented as a full-page (or double page) image. They are simply labeled by the painting's title (and an alternate if a painting acquired one in the art world other than the one Pollock gave it himself) and the date; the usual caption clutter (medium, size, present owner) are provided in an appendix.

The narrative, divided into twelve chapters, is basically chronological. (Chapters are compact and can be read thoughtfully and leisurely in an hour or two.) Landau includes sufficient biographical information to help the reader appreciate the paintings. She doesn't ignore or minimize Pollock's alcoholism and character defects, neither does she dwell on them. The "evidence" and details concerning these matters are mostly confined to her extensive endnotes, along with expanded versions of key critics' comments on Pollock's work. Landau is cognizant of the influence of Thomas Hart Benton and gives it due attention(Readers who want to know more about the psychodynamics of the relationship between these two iconic American artists will want to read Henry Adams's Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock; see my Amazon review of that title).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VICKIE M SIMMS on May 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a art history student and appreciate books with works of art that are well photographed and presented in the text in a fluid way. Jackson Pollock fits the bill. The text is easy to read while using art language. Landau describes Pollock's story with passion and clarity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By michael potts on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the color prints [some fold out] are superb and inspirational I reccommend the book to any serious painter or artist of any sort
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. O'Connell on August 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I never have enough time to read the accompanying text, so my reviews are based solely on the plates, as influenced by quantity, size, quality, and variety. This is a five-star collection encompassing Jackson Pollock's lifetime of art.

Many of the plates are vibrantly colored and the full size of one page (11.8 x 10.4 inches). There are more than a dozen pull-outs that are two full-sized pages (up to 23 inches wide). Accompanying the text are smaller-size plates, including Pollock's black and white sketches, the occasional works of his contemporaries and influences, and photographs of Pollock while painting.

Stand-outs include:
T.P.'s Boat in Menemsha Pond (c. 1934)
The Flame (c. 1934-38)
Untitled (Naked Man With Knife) (c. 1938-41)
Bird (1941)
The Magic Mirror (1941)
Male and Female (1942)
The Moon Woman (1942)
Pasiphae (1943)
Night Mist (1945) (extra large)
War (1947)
Reflection of the Big Dipper (1947)
Alchemy (1947)
Lucifer (1947) (extra large)
The Wooden Horse (1948)
Autumn Rhythm (1950) (extra large)
Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952 (1952) (extra large)
The Deep (1953)
Ocean Greyness (1953)
White Light (1954)
Search (1955)

And the forgoing list is merely a sampling of this large, well-organized collection.
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