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Artist Intent: Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm

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I believe that many people would have a similar reaction toward Autumn Rhythm when first seeing it. When I had my first look at the piece, I was overwhelmed with the movement and the energy that seem to break out from the image. However, I am a little confused about the title and the actual piece itself. Why use such neutral colors to describe a season that is usually so full of color? Is there a hidden image that I should be looking for? Why is this piece entitled Autumn Rhythm? The pure chaos of this painting also makes me wonder about the artist himself.

Does this chaos reflect on his life somehow? How did the idea of splashing paint onto a canvas come to his mind? With a little research, perhaps I will have further grasp as to what the artist, Jackson Pollock, was expecting me to understand about his piece.

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Autumn Rhythm is actually quite large for a painting.

Being 207 inches wide and 105 inches long, the painting would seem staggering to any viewer. Not only would the size prove to be a bit overwhelming, but the piece itself, being created with the most untraditional methods, would keep the viewer entertained as well. Autumn Rhythm was created on the ground, surprisingly. The artist stated that he wanted to approach the piece at all angles, so having the canvas on the floor was deemed the best option. Pollock used knives, sticks, trowels, and pretty much anything that was nontraditional to create the intricate design that is Autumn Rhythm. However, when approached with the idea that the piece has no control or purpose, Pollock insisted that, “I can control the flow of the paint: there are no accidents.”

Of course, at first glance it would be hard to believe that there is any control at all. Yet, at a closer look, the viewer can discover that there is balance, grace, and unity within the work. Basically, despite the spontaneity, Pollock was very precise with his use of color and movement when creating Autumn Rhythm. While researching, it was discovered that there is little to no story behind the specific painting of Autumn Rhythm, itself. Although, there was so much information about Pollock himself that it was somewhat easy to piece together what his influence was when it came to his “Drip Paintings.” In 1937, Pollock started receiving psychiatric treatment for his alcoholism from a Jungian analyst. The analyst fueled Pollock’s interest for symbolism and Native American art, which was described as Indians letting sand run through their fingers to make patterns and circles at their feet.

A few years later, Pollock was interviewed by Pete Norman, a representative for Guggenheim. When Norman saw some of Pollock’s paintings on the floor, he declared that “Pollock’s art was the most original American art I have ever seen.” Of course, Guggenheim signed to him immediately. This was a turning point for Pollock, for he became quite famous and popular in the years afterwards. In the beginning, I saw very little of Pollock’s painting. However, now that I understand a bit of the background behind his work, I now appreciate how much time and effort he put into expressing himself on canvas. His life was hard, and he only wanted his viewers to understand the chaos that he experienced all the time. I liked the painting before, but now I feel that I have a connection to this piece that I will not be forgetting anytime soon.

Cite this Artist Intent: Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm

Artist Intent: Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm. (2016, Jun 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/artist-intent-jackson-pollocks-autumn-rhythm/

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