Abstract Expressionism

Topics: Abstract expressionism, Clement Greenberg, Art Pages: 2 (629 words) Published: November 14, 2014
Melinda Alexander
Abstract Expressionism

In this essay, I will demonstrate a comparison of control and chaos in the painting methods between Jackson Pollock and Helen Frankenthaler. I consider both artists to operate at a type of controlled chaos. However, I find that Frankenthaler used more control in her painting method where she carefully applied colors to certain spaces. Pollock’s painting is more a result of his actions than a specific thought as where to apply a certain color in an empty space. Jackson Pollock’s drip-method is creative and original. No one before him had used this method of pouring and splattering paint. Artists normally brushed or pushed the color. His process was completely unique. He did not use an easel. The canvas was laid on the ground. Industrial paint, raw canvas, sticks, and other tools instead of brushes were all materials that make his art pieces so unique. Lavender Mist exhibits an energy that almost gives life to the painting. The colors contrast in a way that are bold but not overwhelming. The dark hue mixes with the light so that it is neither heavy nor airy. At 87 X 118 inches the scale is huge. Amongst the chaos there is an even distribution of pattern and colors throughout the spacing. This gives it unity, symmetry and balance. I think that is why I call it controlled chaos. He reminds me of sort of a maestro conducting an orchestra. Using his tools, paints and body the way a maestro would conduct a symphony. He is moving everywhere flinging paint around not knowing really what it will look like. The spontaneity and originality of his work is interesting and cool. Helen Frankenthaler’s work with water color is also original. I think her action is more controlled than Pollock as she moves the color to fill certain spaces on the paper and she sketches some with charcoal. Chaos is demonstrated as well with her painting freely from nature or her memory of it. Like Pollock, she painted on the floor and at a large scale....
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