The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Post-War American Art

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9780374153816: The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Post-War American Art

Flinging his colors onto the canvas, pouring and dripping his paints in a quintessentially American gesture, Jackson Pollock redefined the art of painting. It was the fate of Pollock's gesture to be mimicked, modified, and denied by artists of immense stature. Drawing from twenty years of experience as an art critic in New York, Carter Ratcliff maps the Manhattan art world, revisiting the world of studios, galleries and artist's bars where these personalities met and clashed. Over the story looms the monumental and tragic figure of Pollock, the measure of all who have felt compelled to challenge him.

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Review:

Jackson Pollock's paintings capture the essence of movement and challenge typical notions of representation. The Fate of a Gesture argues that Pollock's work overshadowed and directed the course of postwar American Painting. Not to be confused with a survey of this era in art history, Ratcliff deals specifically with the boundless and infinite quality of the influential gesture as a symbol of America itself. Avoiding a common aggrandizement of the artist, Ratcliff's thought-provoking text allows readers to draw conclusions of their own.

About the Author:

Carter Ratcliff is an award-winning art critic who has published several books on diverse American artists, including Andy Warhol, John Singer Sargent, Pat Steir, and Robert Longo. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Art Critics grant, and the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism from the College Art Association.

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