Monday 14 September 2015

Review of Jackson Pollock’s Mural: Energy Made Visible at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Jackson Pollock’s Mural: Energy Made Visible
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
23 April  – 16 November 2015

In 1948, Clement Greenberg wrote his essay The Crisis of the Easel Picture. The previous year, Jackson Pollock (1912-56), applying for a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, wrote (highly likely with the aid of Greenberg): “I intend to paint large movable pictures which will function between the easel and mural. I have set a precedent in this genre in a large painting for Miss Peggy Guggenheim. […] I believe the easel picture to be a dying form, and the tendency of modern feeling is towards the wall picture or mural.”1 The mural he mentions is a vast panorama spanning a canvas six metres long, the largest painting he ever made, and credited by Willem de Kooning as “[breaking] the ice” for abstract expressionism. Now on display at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the work forms the basis for a small but enlightening exhibition, exploring the context in which it was produced and showing something of the effect it had on the contemporary art world.

Read the rest of this review here

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