Coming soon: Short guides to the collections of the Musee d’Orsay and the Pompidou Center in Paris, viewed with an eye to which works were created by young geniuses and which by old masters. The pamphlets will tell museum goers which paintings were created at the high point of the artist’s career and which were part of an artistic slump. They’ll join a guide to the Musee de l’Orangerie, which is already available for download. All three will be downloadable from the “Arts of Innovation” Web site after I get back from a Paris trip and solve a pesky computer problem.
Here’s a preview from the Pompidou guide:
Jackson Pollock, United States (1912-1956) – experimental innovator and master of dripping paint
The car crash that killed America’s great drip painter eliminated his chances of becoming a true old master, but his career up to that point hewed closely to the typical pattern. Pollock’s most successful works came more than a decade into his career, when he found and then returned repeatedly to his favorite subject matter, his familiar splashes of flung and dribbled colors, which were his equivalent of Degas ballet dancers. The paintings that gained the greatest favor among buyers and curators are ones from his late 30s. As an experimental innovator, he stuck with that style from age 35 until shortly before his death at age 44.
The Pompidou’s Pollocks are both from age 36 (in 1948). Both are on display in Room 34, Level 5:
- “Painting (Silver over Black, White, Yellow and Red)” (Pictured above)
- “Number 26 A, Black and White”