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Jackson Pollock Hardcover – September, 1998


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Hardcover, September, 1998
$104.77 $48.88
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Museum of Modern Art; First Edition edition (September 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810961938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810961937
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 12 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,890,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The almost mythic Jackson Pollock--a roughshod, ill-mannered, prodigiously ambitious, aggressive, alcoholic, tormented artist--is alive and unwell in this book. But Kirk Varnedoe and Pepe Karmel, the chief curator and adjunct assistant curator, respectively, of the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Painting and Sculpture, also go deeply into Pollock's art in eye-opening ways. This book is the catalog for the retrospective of Pollock's art-shattering oeuvre at the Museum of Modern Art in the fall of 1998 and includes many biographical pictures as well as color plates of Pollock's paintings, from the awkward but earnest early works to the late, great, famous canvasses. Varnedoe's essay, aptly titled "Comet: Jackson Pollock's Life and Work," deftly invites the reader into Pollock's world, starting with his country studio: "The structure, often called a barn, is in fact more like a glorified tool shed." Karmel's essay, "Pollock at Work: The Films and Photographs of Hans Namuth," is a truly groundbreaking exploration of Pollock's technique. Karmel has scrutinized every frame of every piece of film, still or moving, ever taken of Pollock painting. He arrives at absolutely original conclusions: Pollock's all-over swirls of dripped and flung paint often began as figurative works and clearly relate to such all-American stalwarts as Thomas Hart Benton. Karmel makes countless other sharp observations, noting the difference, for example, between fast-looking marks and the slow, deliberate movements with which they were made (and vice versa). His essay is a work of brilliant scholarship, written thrillingly, and it will forever change the way any serious viewer looks at Pollock's paintings. It makes this volume absolutely essential for understanding the work of this great, sad artist. --Peggy Moorman

Review

...the man and his work are scrupulously explored and evaluated in Jackson Pollack... -- The New York Times Book Review, Evelyn Toynton

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
A great book and an amazing artist.
Adam Schellin
Large format features fold-out reproductions of breathtakingly high quality.
Renee Thorpe
3 weeks later another book arrives....same story, NO COLOUR PLATES!
Voinezuelah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Renee Thorpe on June 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Excellent companion piece to the MOMA show (which traveled to London's Tate) goes beyond all other Pollock explorations. A "must" for students of modern American art as well as those just wanting to get a better understanding of what Pollock was REALLY DOING.
Large format features fold-out reproductions of breathtakingly high quality. Among these, incredibly, are paintings not found in any other published sources. (The incomparable Lucifer (1947) is one such work).
The text is scholarly but readable, and although there is a considerable amount of it, each open page of writing offers at least a couple relevant and highly interesting photos or other illustrations. The many large color plates would certainly make a gorgeous and impressive coffee table book for anyone who doesn't choose to read it.
Kirk Varnedoe writes definitively about Pollock's mercurial life & career. Varnedoe's nearly 75 pages of biographical analysis are a welcome alternative to the kind of misguided mythologizing about Pollock that has for a long time colored the artist as an overrated art "star."
Pepe Karmel's contribution to this book is an amazing analysis of Pollock's painting process through an exhaustive examination of the famous films and photographs of Pollock at work. This was a fascinating, ground-breaking part of the exhibition, and is equally wonderful in the book.
Well worth the price.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By christopher wren on August 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This breathtaking catalogue is simply the best single volume available on Jackson Pollock, and this is primarily--but not only--because of the number and quality of the reproductions it offers. Almost every one of the dozen or so Pollock books in my library contains a painting not available in the others, but this book collects and beautifully photographs the greatest number and variety of his canvases--outside of a catalogue raisonee.
As the other reviewers state, there are many generously-sized fold-out pages here, and the crispness and resolution of these big reprints and of the more modest pages are simply amazing. To take two essential examples, this book's reprints of "One: Number 31, 1950" and "Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952" are astoundingly clear, better than any of the many other versions I've seen in art books, even in Ellen Landau's large-format survey, a book which also includes gatefolds.
(Another reviewer, by the by, states that "Lucifer" is not available in any other book, which is not true. Among other places, it appears in Landau, in Elizabeth's Frank's concise volume, and as the sole color reproduction in the book for the 1965 MOMA retrospective. Anyway, it gets terrific treatment here.)
Another invaluable inclusion in this book is a great number of full-sized detail photos of the canvases. For example, on a page adjacent to "Lucifer" and "Autumn Rhythm" and "Full Fathom Five," we see another photo of just one small section of that same painting but in 1-to-1 scale; these details reveal much of the dynamic, kinetic, urgent quality of these works, their encrustations of sand, glass, pennies, paint caps--traits which even this book could otherwise never offer a livingroom Pollock-viewer.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By mix whit on May 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up at the MOMA Pollock retrospective a couple years ago and have used it extensively. Having seen many of the paintings in this book firsthand, I can say that these are some of the best reproductions offerred in book form on Pollock's work. Another plus is that several paintings are printed on fold-out pages, so that the work doesn't cross the book's seam. So many of his paintings are extremely wide that this makes a lot of sense (otherwise, there would be hardly any resolution in the height dimension).
If you're interested in Pollock and need to refer to the reproductions, I absolutely recommend this book above all others out there.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Having just taken in the MoMA show, I was very satisfied with the Pollock catalog. Very nice job reproducing the works (a difficult task in the printing of art catalogs!) Many fold-outs assist in conveying the size of Pollock's larger works. Large, full-bleed detail shots add a nice touch, complimenting the entire painting. While I'm not thrilled with the cover design, the interior is well-written, well-presented, and well-worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Voinezuelah on December 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book on the strength of the great reviews. As an artist I really wanted good colour reproductions to study. Imagine my disappointment when this book arrived 3 weeks later (Melbourne Australia) with no colour plates whatsoever! No fold out plates, no colour! Only black and white single page images. Amazon were great in immediately creating another order and shipping it to me. 3 weeks later another book arrives....same story, NO COLOUR PLATES!
I sent it back and am still waiting for a refund.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reich Claude on April 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is the catalogue for the landmark Pollock exhibition held at the Moma and the Tate in 1998-1999. Considering the steep rise in the insurance value of Pollock's paintings, such a comprehensive retrospective is not likely to be repeated in the near future and we are therefore fortunate to have such a brilliant book to help us remember it. The late Kirk Varnedoe was one of the best interpreters of contemporary American art and his text, never anecdotical and always informative without being pedantic, does justice to the masterpieces without falling into any of the cliches that often pollute our view of this great artist.

Beautiful illustrations make this book an indispensable presence in any arts library.
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