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Death as Art/The Car Crash as Statement

The Myth of Jackson Pollock
  • Steven Jay Schneider

Abstract

when might a car crash be more than just a car crash? When at least one of the victims is (a) famous, (b) in some sense “important,” or (c) when his or her life or work has something tragic pervading it. Jackson Pollock, American painter and one of the founding fathers of Abstract Expressionism, satisfied all three of these conditions. So was the car crash in which he died while speeding along an East Hampton road on the evening of August 11, 1956, more than just a car crash? What else could it have been? A message? A suicide? A work of art in its own right? And to what extent was this “something else” a product of Pollock’s own interests, concerns, desires, or, alternatively, those of his family, friends, colleagues, the news media, art historians, or the public at large? It is with this difficult complex of questions that the present chapter is concerned.

Keywords

Automobile Accident Death Drive Present Chapter Grim Reaper Village Voice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Allan Kaprow, “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock,” Art News, 57, October 1958, 25.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    B. H. Friedman, Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible (New York: Da Capo, 1995), 205.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thomas Hess, “Pollock: The Art of a Myth,” Art News, 62, January 1964, 39.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Clement Greenberg, “‘American-Type’ Painting,” in Art and Culture: Critical Essays (Boston: Beacon Press, 1961), 228.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Cited in Jeffrey Potter, To a Violent Grave: An Oral Biography of Jackson Pollock (New York: Pushcart Press, 1985), 217.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Ruth Kligman, Love Affair: A Memoir of Jackson Pollock (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1974), 201.Google Scholar
  7. 29.
    Jean Feinberg, Jim Dine (New York: Abbeville Press, 1995), 16–17.Google Scholar
  8. 31.
    Bernice Rose, Jackson Pollock: Works on Paper (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1969).Google Scholar
  9. 32.
    Neil Printz and Remo Guidieri, Andy Warhol: Death and Disaster (Texas: The Menil Collection and Houston Fine Art Press, 1988), 14.Google Scholar
  10. 36.
    Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Jackson Pollock: An American Saga (New York: C. N. Potter 1989), 3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mikita Brottman 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Jay Schneider

There are no affiliations available

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