Van Gogh •
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Jackson Pollock, who was born in Cody, Wyoming, lived in Arizona and California until 1929. He took his first lessons in art at the
Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles. Pollock came to New York to study at the Art Students League and worked under Thomas Hart Benton during the years 1929 to 1931. He began his career as an artist during the depression years and worked for the Federal Arts Project in New York from 1938 to 1942. He then moved to Huntington, Long Island. Pollock's early painting was expressionistically realistic and then surrealistic in style. However, by the early 1940's his
work had become completely abstract expressionist in character with no figuration at all. This was an expression of the isolation of the painter in the modern world: painting itself is the subject matter of these works, a concept that must be accepted by the viewer before he can begin to understand or appreciate this highly intellectual form of art. In 1951-52 Pollock reintroduced the semblance of anatomical imagery into his abstract work. Pollock's art was a violent, romantic revolt in which the artist himself was irrevocably involved, for he was completely committed to the act of painting in itself, to the possibilities inherent in paint, and to the results of the interactions between himself and his medium. When he flung his paint at the canvas, he energetically directed it, fought with it, and either won or lost the battle. The result is a painting that moves dynamically in all directions, from the inner to the outer surface. A freedom of expression resulted that revolutionized mid-twentieth-century art both in the United States and in Europe, creating a new expansion and a new impetus for the solution, through art, of modern man's struggle in the modern world. Pollock's career was tragically cut short by his death in an automobile accident.