To a Violent Grave: An Oral Biography of Jackson Pollock

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9780916366476: To a Violent Grave: An Oral Biography of Jackson Pollock

In a thousand dazzling images conjured by his immediate family and closest friends, Jackson Pollock, the spectacularly self-destructive and gifted American painter, comes to life in this fascinating oral biography assembled and written by his friend and East Hampton neighbor, Jeffrey Potter. The dramatic narrative of Pollock's violent death, told by those who were on the scene, from farmers and policemen to coroners and lovers, is gripping in its immediacy. To a Violent Grave reveals a man living a life that mirrored his art. Jackson Pollock--powerful, colorful, contradictory, brilliant--was an explosion that rocked and changed forever all he touched.

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From Library Journal:

Pollock's colorful career has been the stuff of artistic legend ever since his death in an auto accident in 1956. His frenzied exploits, the brawling, drinking, and reckless driving, were viewed as an inevitable part of his painterly creativity. Potter was Pollock's neighbor in East Hampton, Long Island, where the two men shared an interest in the land. He has pieced together a racy narrative of the artist's life and hard times by using short interview excerpts from over 150 individualsfamily members (but not Pollock's widow, painter Lee Krasner), dealers, critics, fellow artists, and other East Hampton intimates. Unfortunately, this patchwork of psychologically charged anecdotes does not provide any real insights into the man as an artist. Scholars and others who want a more substantive biography should turn to B. H. Friedman's Jackson Pollock: energy made visible (1972). Paula A. Baxter, Museum of Modern Art Lib., New York Please note: McPherson & Company has informed us that Gianfranco Baruchello and Henry Martin's Why Duchamp ( LJ 11/15/85) is a Documentext (not Treacle Press) title.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

That Pollock was a mean-spirited drunk, a fast, reckless driver, parasitical toward his brother, and abusive to women is abundantly clear from this "oral biography." Potter, who knew the artist for seven years in East Hampton, has interviewed some 150 peoplefamily members, fellow painters, art dealers, critics, neighbors, roommates, lovers. This chorus of voices, quoted in round-robin fashion, sound off at each juncture in Pollock's obsessively driven, alcoholic existence. It's good gossip, but Potter (author of Men, Money and Magic) never really ties the recollections together so that we can understand how Pollock transcended a messy life to create lyrical paintings of the unconscious. Even the thoughtful reminiscences often seem like pop psychoanalyzing (Clement Greenberg says, "He was so helpless, he expected you to feel sorry for him"). De Kooning, Motherwell and Rivers lead the cast of characters. Photos. December 16
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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