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De Anza College Elizabeth Catlett Artist Profile

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Sample Artist Profile Project
An American painter best known for
his abstract expressionist works.
Number 8, 1949
Leslie Berry
HUMI 16 – Winter 2013
Sample Artist Profile Project
On January 28th in 1912, Paul Jackson Pollock was born in Cody,
Wyoming. The youngest of five sons, he grew up in Arizona and
California as his family moved around the west. Constantly seeking
attention, he became a troubled young man, eventually expelled from
school. His tendency toward violence and alcohol abuse punctuated
his life.
Jackson Pollock as a young
boy, feeding ducks on the
family farm.
During the course of his professional life, Pollock was as well-known
for his outrageous drunken behavior as he was for his startling
artistic production.
Unable to cope with his addictions and volatile nature, he often
exhibited self-destructive behavior. He died in an alcohol-related,
single car crash less than a mile from his home in Springs, New
York, also killing one of
the other two passengers
in the car.
The accident occurred at
10PM on August 11, 1956.
He was only 44 years old.
Jackson Pollock’s grave
Sample Artist Profile Project
Pollock’s artistic education began at home,
learning about art and process from his mother.
Later his interests were stoked by his studies at
the Los Angeles Manual Arts High School. After
graduating in 1930, he followed his brother
Charles, an accomplished artist, to New York City
where he began studying alongside Charles under
the tutelage of Thomas Hart Benton at the Art
Students League of New York.
This combination of professional
training and personal exposure to
Benton’s experience provided
Pollock with excellent art skills. His
situation in New York changed
dramatically after a violent episode
with his brother’s family forced him
out of the household.
Going West
The She-Wolf
Pollock went on to be
employed as an artist
by the Work Progress
Administration (WPA)
from 1935 to 1943.
During his years in the
Federal Art Project he
produced a great
many works, but
despite his success as
an artist, he continued
to drink and the alcohol took a toll on his health and his personal
and professional relationships.
Ironically, it is not these
works for which he is best
known today, but rather, the
drip or splatter paintings of
his later career.
Sample Artist Profile Project
Pollock’s public appeal came about
primarily as the result of an expose in
Life Magazine. Although he had
experienced success prior to the
article, this thrust him into the
limelight of the public eye.
Pollock was introduced to the use of
liquid paint in 1936 and he developed
this interest into a new technique. The
most famous period for his paintings are those made during the
“drip period” between 1947 and 1950.
In his studio in Springs, he began painting with
his canvases laid out on the studio floor, and
developed what was later called his “drip”
The drip
required paint
with a fluid
viscosity so Pollock turned to then
new synthetic resin-based paints,
called alkyd enamels. He used
hardened brushes, sticks and even
basting syringes as paint
Pollock’s technique of pouring
and dripping paint is thought to
be one of the origins of the term
action painting.
A 1956 Time Magazine article
dubbed Pollock “Jack the
Dripper” as a result of his unique
painting style.
Sample Artist Profile Project
Pollock’s preferred medium was paint. His paintings changed style
over the decades he produced work, but there is a thread which
connects them visually.
Male and Female (1942)
The Key (1946)
Easter and
the Totem
Lavender Mist
Number 1 (1950)
Sample Artist Profile Project
Pollock’s work has been the
focus of many critical debates.
In a famous 1952 article in
ARTnews, Harold Rosenberg
coined the term action painting,
and wrote that “what was to go
on the canvas was not a picture
but an event.”
Some artists saw Pollock’s work
as the best painting of its day and
the culmination of the Western
tradition. Others claimed to be
“astonished that decorative and
essentially brainless wallpaper,
could gain a position in art history
alongside the greats.”
One 1959 headline said, “This is not art — it’s a joke in bad taste.”
Regardless of the controversy, there
were those who found value in his work.
After his death, his wife Lee Krasner,
established a foundation in honor of her
late husband that continues to sponsor
young artists of note.
Pollock struggled with
alcoholism, his professional
success, and the intense
controversy over his work.
Today his art continues to
produce dialogue and create
discussion in the art world.
Withhold judgment until you
see his work in person.
Sample Artist Profile Project
Jackson Pollock’s work is found in many of the world’s finest
museums and private collections, including:
 The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
 The Museum of Modern Art, New York
 Neuberger Museum, State University of New York
 Collection Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden
 The Art Institute of Chicago
 Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
 Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki
 The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Sample Artist Profile Project
Jackson Pollock blazed an
astonishing trail for other
Abstract Expressionist
painters to follow.
De Kooning once famously
said, “Pollock broke the ice,”
an enigmatic phrase
suggesting that Jackson
Pollock showed through his
production, what art could
Pollock did more than shatter the
primacy of representational art he kicked the easel out from
under the frame and transformed
painting technique forever.
His exploration of innovative
technique and application of new
mediums has influenced new
generations of art students, art
critiques, and the general public
as a whole.
The Life Magazine profile introduced
his art to a nationwide audience and
cemented his growing reputation as
the foremost modern painter of his
generation, but this notoriety was
both a blessing and a curse for
Pollock. After his death, Lee
Krasner’s smart management of his
legacy and estate ensured that Pollock’s reputation remained strong
in spite of changing art-world trends.
Already well-known during his life, today he is quite famous and his
artwork is considered very valuable, bringing large monetary offers
when it appears at auction.
Sample Artist Profile Project
No. 12, 1949
auctioned on May 2004
No. 4, 1951
auctioned on November 2012
Pollock’s work fascinates me because
many first-time viewers dismiss it as
something their toddler could do how difficult can it be to fling paint?
But the longer you look, the more
interesting it becomes. His work is
complex, multi-layered and intricate.
I’m not the only one to think so.
Seeing his work in person, I find the
scale overwhelming and the
intertwining of delicate lines of color
is intriguing. I feel that if I could stare
long enough, I might see what he saw.
No. 5, 1948
auctioned on November 2006
Sample Artist Profile Project
Jackson Pollock Sources
Information and images were obtained from the following sites:
Jackson Pollock, the Artist
Moderna Museet
Jackson Pollock
Pollock, a Tribute
Jackson Pollock Biography
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Web Museum of Paris
The Complete Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock, 51 – YouTube

Archives of American Art
Decoding Jackson Pollock
Guggenheim Collection
MOMA: The Collection, Jackson Pollock
O pts
40 to >30 pts
Full Marks
30 to 15 pts
Partial Credit
15 to >0 pts
Partial Credit
No Marks
Excellent work!
Biographical details
about the artist are
comprehensive. Profile
successfully relates
history of artist
Student demonstrates
sufficient effort in
completing profile.
Good effort! Some
biographical details
about the artist are
incorrect or missing.
Profile successfully
relates only a portion
of the history of this
artist. Student does
not demonstrate
sufficient effort in
completing profile.
No assignment
submitted or the
assignment does not
meet expectations or
the artist presented is
not on the Approved
Artist list.
Artist Details
/ 40 pts
view longer description
Although you have
submitted the
assignment, there are
gaps in biographical
details about the artist
you selected.
Information is either
incorrect or missing
entirely. The profile
omits important
specifics that are
required in the
assignment. Student
insufficient effort in
completing profile.
O pts
20 to >15 pts
Full Marks
15 to >5 pts
Partial Credit
5 to >O pts
Partial Credit
No Marks
Project is appropriately
formatted and
designed. The
manuscript is complete
– all required materials
are present. Each page
contains appropriate
information and
attention to detail and
adequate list of
sources are provided.
Formatting does not
meet assignment
expectations or the
artist presented is not
on the Approved Artist
The formatting of your
profile project is poorly
accomplished, making
it difficult to identify
the required criteria
are present. The
manuscript lacks
considerable material
and/or inaccurately
represents basic
details. One of more
pages is missing
entirely – or no list of
sources has been
provided (or are
incomplete citations).
/ 20 pts
There are some
formatting problems
with your profile
project which may
have affected the way
information was
displayed. The
manuscript is missing
some material or has
represented some
specifics. One of more
pages may not contain
information or
attention to detail – or
an adequate list of
sources has not been
view longer description
20 to > 15 pts
Full Marks
15 to >5 pts
Partial Credit
5 to >0 pts
Partial Credit
O pts
No Marks
Artist’s work is
effectively showcased
in images on all pages.
Finished project has
professional finish and
polished appearance.
Design elements do
not meet assignment
expectations or the
artist presented is not
on the Approved Artist
/ 20 pts
view longer description
Artist’s work is
presented in images on
most pages but there
is room for
improvement. Finished
project could be
refined and polished to
better meet
Recommend review of
sample provided.
Images of artist’s work
are not present on
most pages. The lack
of visual information is
a problem because we
are dealing primarily
with visual mediums.
The finished project
lacks the details
presented in the
20 to >5 pts
Full Marks
5 to >O pts
Partial Credit
O pts
No Marks
The profile is written about the
artist selected from the
Approved Artist list.
view longer description
/ 20 pts
A profile is submitted but it is
not written on the artist
selected from the Approved
Artist list.
The profile does not meet
assignment expectations – the
artist presented is not on the
Approved Artist list.

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