Jackson Pollock at Tate Liverpool: wrestling with a blind spot

Jackson Pollock at Tate Liverpool: wrestling with a blind spot

Well I tried, didn’t I? I have to admit, I’ve always had a blind spot where Jackson Pollock’s concerned. So I was not that keen on seeing Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots at Tate Liverpool. But I was persuaded by my daughter – who was blown away by the Pollocks she saw in MoMA a few years ago – to give it a go. I came away still unconvinced. Continue reading “Jackson Pollock at Tate Liverpool: wrestling with a blind spot”

Pollock: Ed Harris’s story of a troubled genius

Yesterday I watched Pollock, directed by and starring Ed Harris as Jackson Pollock. It took Harris ten years to bring Jackson Pollock’s story to the screen, and the result is an engaging, emotional and thoughtful story of a troubled genius – an excellent way to understand the man and the artist.

The film opens with a shot of Pollock at the height of his success, giving an autograph to the woman with whom he would eventually die in a car crash, then backtracks nine years to chart his struggle to make his mark on the modern art scene in 1940s New York.

Prone to self-doubt, rage, and drunkenness, Pollock is rescued by Lee Krasner, who becomes his wife and tireless champion. With her help, Jackson wins the patronage of Peggy Guggenheim, though his growing fame drives a wedge between himself and Krasner. The most electrifying sequences show Pollock at work on his famous drip paintings, conjuring dense anarchic patterns with a combination of skill, luck, and gravity. The film is a tour de force by Harris, both as director and actor, inhabiting the artist’s personality and self-destructive streak. Harris’ wife,Marcia Gay Harden, is also excellent as Krasner revealing a will of iron beneath her unshakable love and compassion (she won best actress Oscar for the role in 2001).

A quietly excellent movie, clearly a labour of love for Harris, and far superior to much of the current Hollywood product. It is aimed at educated adults.
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Pollock: excerpt