«I am nature» Jackson Pollock answered to Hans Hofmann, who visited him in his studio. Hans Hofmann (1888-1966) was one of the older abstract expressionist painters working in New York. Hofmann originally came from Germany. He connected European with modern American abstract art. Lee Krasner, Pollocks wife, remembered the conversation: «…one of the questions Hans Hofmann asked Jackson was: ‘Do you work from nature?’ There were no still lifes or models around and Jackson’s answer was: ‘I am nature.’»
The exhibition «Der figurative Pollock» in the impressive Neubau of the Kunstmuseum Basel highlights the developing of the nature-boy from a farm in Cody, Wyoming to one of the central figures of abstract expressionism. Through all the ups and downs of his life and career as an artist he was faithful to his «not always easy» nature.
The exhibition curated by Nina Zimmer tells this moving story in over 100 paintings and in the great, oscar-rewarded movie «Pollock» by Ed Harris. Be sure you plan enough time to see both (movie 1 h 55 m) and the exhibited paintings. Both take you on a trip, which opens eyes, mind and heart.
You will discover El Greco, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, influences by Rudolf Steiners theosophy and «Tafelbilder», by Pablo Picassos “Guernica”, C.G. Jung, art and religion of the Indians, eastern philosophy, cubism, surrealism, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, the mexican muralists – all in the work and nature of one person, Jackson Pollock. You will meet Lee Krasner, Pollocks wife, muse and moon-woman, his most important companion and promoter in his life and art life through thick and thin till his death and beyond.
The résumé of this great exhibition in the words of Jackson Pollock: «My concern is with the rhythms of nature.. .I work inside out, like nature.» As an introduction to the figurative Pollock you may watch this documentary.
A must-see: Der figurative Pollock. Kunstmuseum Basel.
Bis 22. Januar 2017. Katalog Fr. 39.–.
Picture: Totem Lesson 1, 1944, Anderson Collection