Customer Reviews: Love Affair: A Memoir of Jackson Pollock
Amazon Vehicles Up to 80 Percent Off Textbooks Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Ryley Walker Fire TV Stick Happy Belly Coffee Totes Summer-Event-Garden Amazon Cash Back Offer power_s3 power_s3 power_s3  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis Water Sports

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on December 19, 2000
This is a dreadful little book about the downslide of a great artist and the parasite who attached herself to him like a barnacle. Ruth Kligman has never shown even an ounce of talent for anything on her own, and continues to try to live off the carcass of an artist who, by the time she met him, was on the dark side of a distinguished career. What possible motive could there be for a book that portrays the Big Dripper as a big drip? How could she evince so little feeling for the friend she lost in the tragic accident that claimed Pollock's life? What could this possibly do for his legacy but harm it, as it portrays him as a drunken, self-absorbed infant given to weeping fits and artistic impotence? Kligman gives new meaning to the phrase "with friends like these"--regarding both her dead friend and Pollock.
0Comment| 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 3, 2001
I saw the motion picture "pollock" and started to take intrest in the life of Jackson Pollock. when I came across this book I got curious and bought it - what can she possibly write about? I was a little amazed: the book was totaly about her! all she wrote about was herself and pollock's great love for her and how he became depended on her completely. she kept going on and on about how he needed love so despretly and how he was never loved before, totally ignoring his wife, Lee Krasner, and the many years she spent with him, standing beside him and helping him become the appreciated artist he is. she described Krasner as a terrifying angry woman that all she did was terrorize Pollock, when she seemed to forget she had her so called love affair with a married man, invading Krasner's house and living there with Pollock while Krasner was in europe, pretending she was married to him.
I dont think this can be considered a memoir of Jackson Pollock. it does speak of the last months of his life, but it gives very little information about him as a person (beside the fact the he could'nt live without Ruth Kligman) and nothing at all about Pollock as an artist. in fact, in that period of time he did not paint at all.
0Comment| 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 3, 2005
Although Ruth Kligman is a clumsy writer (ie we silently went into the silent house.), the book was of value based on the time period it explores.

The story takes place in Jackson Pollock's last year, when his life became totally unraveled. He has alienated his friends and colleagues;started an affair with Kligman; his wife separated from him and he spent most of his time either drunk or otherwise unable to function. If you can get beyond Ruth Kligman's overblown efforts to make this a romance story (which it is not), It tells of Pollock's unnerving behavior in the final few months before his death.

There is significant art world gossip about Ruth Kligman during this time. She is said to have asked for a list of the best painters in New York at the time and when she was told the best was Pollock, was said to lay claim on him immediately. Within a year of Pollocks death she had started an affair with #2 on the list (Willem de Kooning) which lasted on again off again until 1962. I think the only reason she didn't also have an affair with Franz Kline (#3 on the list) was because he died before her final break up with de Kooning. Because of these stories, her claims in the book that she loves Pollock forever and that he is the only person she ever loved is hollow. It seems she wants the reader to think she is both a sympathetic character and more important than she really was. It comes off as pretentious. It would have made her both more believable and more sympathetic if she would have told of what she has done with her life since the accident in 1956 and perhaps included an honest assessment of her life in the afterward.

However,I would recommend this book, not as a sole source for his biography, but to flesh out other biographies on Pollock.
11 comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 24, 2003
A poorly written, self-serving book written by a bit player who is still feeding on Pollock 47 years after his drunken, ignominious death. Pathetic.
11 comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 19, 2000
It seemed to me that the book was more about Ruth Kligman than Pollock. The majority of the book was devoted to trying to convince the reader how important she was/is to the Pollock legend. I finished the book still knowing less than I wanted to know about Pollock and way more than I wanted to know about Kligman. It is my fault however; the title should have been my clue.
0Comment| 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 4, 2003
Ruth Kligman's account of her "love affair" is tacky, self-serving and poorly written. It's a shame that this adultress continues to live off of a "fame" taken at the expense of the suffering of others through the exploitation of a great artist's demise, a "friend's" death, a undeserving wife, etc. etc.
11 comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 14, 2012
UPDATE: 11-08-2013 My faith in Ms. Kligman has paid off. It was announced today that private and reputable labs that work only in authenticating works of art have declared this painting as being Jackson Pollock's final work!!! She was telling the truth all along! Could not be happier!

I knew when I read Lesley M. M. Blume's wonderful article in the Sept. 2012 VANITY FAIR magazine entitled, THE CANVAS & THE TRIANGLE, about the late Ruth Kligman's small Pollock painting, that I would be back 'on' the Jackson Pollock bandwagon. can attest that since reading this story in early August, I have bought just about every Pollock, Krasner book, DVDs and Kligman's personal narrative of their affair.

This VANITY FAIR piece centers around a small painting that Ms. Kligman (in her later years) passed off as an authentic Pollock. She claimed he painted this, with her watching, during their time together shortly before his death. It is up for auction soon and no one can authenticate it. The painting in question is on the cover of Ms. Kligman's book. It certainly looks like a Pollock. When I first saw the painting, it immediately reminded me of his work, The Wooden Horse #10A, painted in 1948. There are a lot of similarities in the two.

As I said in my title, I want to believe this is authentic. I want to believe her story is true, as well.

The book is a quick read. You won't be bothered by the history of art in America, or talk about which artist shows at what gallery. She's young, she's pretty, ambitious, doesn't feel like one of the real people 'cause she wasn't born a WASP. Or something like that. She works part-time at a nothing art gallery in NYC. She studies art at night. Wants to meet only the top artists. Someone turns her on to the Cedar Tavern Bar in the Village. It's where all the art stars hang out.

Pollock, who is living on Long Island, comes to the city (Manhattan) on Monday to see his shrink. Uh, what? As luck would have it, this young lady ALSO sees her shrink but four times a week! We are never told WHY she has to see a shrink that often, but we assume her life is a mess. OK?

She goes to the Cedar Bar one Monday and meets Pollock. The rest, as they say, is history. She calls him at the bar the following Monday and he is so thrilled and delighted to hear from her again, 'cause she didn't give him her telephone number, that he rushes right over to her apartment. Of course they fly into bed. And they aren't even on a date!

Time flies by quickly and whamo! Pollock has decided that he wants to marry her and have a child with her. Lee Krasner, his wife, the woman who put him on the map? Don't worry about Lee. She will understand. I'll give her a big settlement and we can all three live together. Lee can live in the small house next to where they currently abide as husband and wife! You will live with me in the big house that Lee slaved over for decades. She'll understand.

Well, big surprise, Lee Krasner Pollock does NOT understand and chews the paint off the wall when she learns of Ms. Kligman. 'It's her or me, Pollock," she screams. He's kinda confused now, so this is a perfect time for Lee to go to Europe for the summer. Let lover boy remain at the house to figure out what the next step is.

Ruth moves into the house recently vacated by Lee. She can't cook, by the way. They eat out every night. Jackson does the cooking when they stay home. But, she's great in the sack, so that momentarily makes up for her lack of cooking skills. He foolishly takes her to a party at the home of Clement Greenberg, Lee Krasner's dear friend. And, guess what? Everyone at the party totally ignores Ruth! Didn't see that coming! Wow.

Fast forward a bit. Ruth realizes none of Pollock's friends will ever accept her. Lee Krasner is never going to divorce Pollock. He has become so obsessed with her that she lies to him to get a two day vacation from him in NYC. Her shrink, who has been in Europe for the summer, has returned. Only, of course, this is a lie. She is now torn. She wants to ditch Pollock and get on with her life, but he is soooo neeedy!!! She invites her good friend (from her hair salon) Edith Metzger, to return with her for the weekend. And, we all know what transpired next. Pollock drinks gin all day, goes off the rail mentally, and kills himself and poor innocent Edith in a car accident. Klingman somehow survives to tell the story for the rest of her very long life. Whew.

Only recently did I learn that, after Pollocks demise, she went on to bed De Kooning, as well. I don't know what they called this back in the 50s, but in the 60s we called women like this 'star _____' and 'groupies.'

In this book we finally see Jackson Pollock as a human being. He is not an artist, drunk, emotionally disturbed, or all the cliches that have been used to describe him over the ages. He is a flesh and blood, heavy breathing, sexy man in love. And Ms. Kligman is the object of his affections.

In Ed Harris's film POLLOCK, Ruth appears in the last ten minutes (if that) of the film. No explanation. No teaser of what's to come. Wham. There she is being picked up at the train station in the Hamptons by Pollock in his flashy, hot-to-trot roadster. You are left in limbo concerning the depth and origin of their affair as the credits roll.

I was surprised to learn in the first chapter that she met the great Broadway producer, David Merrick. And, I might add, slept with him on their first date. But, of course, Merrick was no Jackson Pollock! She had her sights set pretty high.

There is no doubt that she thought very highly of herself as a great beauty. She says as much in the book. However, in all honesty, she was a real Liz Taylor look-alike. Stunning. In later life, appearing in various Pollock documentaries, she talks through clinched teeth. Was this a result of her automobile accident with Pollock? Strange to watch.

The film I want to see made (listening, Mr. Harris?) is a sequel to POLLOCK. I would love to see Lee Krasner's life on film. Marcia Gay Harden could reprise her role as Lee, and we could see her life play out as artist, wife and widow. I truly hope, in my lifetime, this comes to pass. Gail Levin's bio on Ms. Krasner is a joy to read. Simply outstanding. Buy it!

If you admire Pollock and Krasner (and the art scene of the 50s) you will enjoy reading this book. It humanizes Pollock in a way no other book has. You come away happy knowing that, in his final months of life, he was truly in love. There are biographies on Pollock that claim after two weeks with her he was sending Lee roses in Europe trying to win her back. According to the authors, he could not live without Lee. I have to believe that at the moment of his violent death, he was in love with Ruth. Otherwise the book is meaningless.

January 2012 was his 100th birthday. He endures.
22 comments| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 5, 2007
This book should definitely be used as a fine example of relationship pathology. It has nothing to do with the artistic life of a genius, just about a woman's idea of her importance by association. Reading it is actually nauseating on so many levels; and this dysfunctional relationship claimed an innocent victim at the end. Spare yourself this self-referential piece of trash.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 20, 2000
It is a facinating read. We get to know Jackson Pollock and his contemporaries. We also get to know his genius, neediness, sadness and depression. Yes, there was a bond there. But the author seemed to lose her "self" in her desire to make him happy. Perhaps, this is 20/20 hindsight but her love for him bordered on obsession. Her happiness, her very being, depended on Jackson Pollock's every whim. I found this book disturbing and heartbreaking.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 6, 2012
A very hard book to find at a reasonable price. I have not started reading it yet but it looked interesting when I found out about it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse